30 December 2008

Peace = Hamburgers, Mafia, and my Zephyr Family

Its funny how after six months, nothing has changed.

At 1pm this afternoon, the summer staff of 2008 began to roll into camp after following signs that read "You're almost there! Yay!" and "Keep going! You're almost home!" As this amazing group of college students reunited, something in the air changed. It was as if the world became lighter, stress disappeard and burdens were lifted. Burgers were on the grill and, I promise you, families on the other side of the lake could hear the shriek of giddy girls as we jumped back into the arms of friends. I haven't felt peace like this since this past summer and, as if they're hugs and smile were magic, my world was peaceful once again. It literally took minutes; I was home.

This probably sounds awful because as a college student, you "go home" to your parents, siblings, etc. But when I go home, I am at Zephyr, reunited with the people that have challenged and changed me for the better. I will never be the same because of this family. The word "family" doesn't even suffice for me. I think I need to come up with something even stronger. Its a bondage I never want to be set free from. These people, these angels sent to me from God, have captured my heart and won't let go. And I'm not fighting it. I am currently sitting on a bottom bunk in Jackson, with Olivia above me and Jordan and Erika next to me on the right. I wouldn't exchange this moment for the world. I hear showers running and boys hanging out by the campfire outside. These are sounds that will stay with me forever. The girls and I will talk all night long and I will pray tonight, as I lay in my bed, that God will let the next 36 hours drag and last for as long as they possibly can.

Tonight we ate hamburgers that Stu Dog cooked for us. They were so big and juicy! After dinner, Justin and Clayton from the Justin Graves Band led worship and Trevor Carpenter brought The Word. There is nothing like having the leaders of Zephyr, the men we look up to as summer staffers, encourage and revive us through food, worship and prayer in the Lord. Afterwards we played tons of silly games like "Bibbity, Bibbity Bop" and "Mafia." I thought tonight was fun, but I know tomorrow is going to be crazy!

For now, I am going to just soak up the precious moments that surround me. Like just a few shorts months ago, Erika just told Jordan and I goodnight and that she loved us. Those words warmed my heart like no other. No truer, more real words exist. I love these girls and guys more than they will ever know. I would give everything if I knew I could stay right here, at this time in my life with these exact people. I know this is not possible, but I will not let these sweet, sweet moments pass me by. I am going to hide them in my heart knowing that they will get me through any obstacles of life that I encounter. I am more home than I can even wrap my mind around right now.

Its funny how after six months, nothing has changed.

26 December 2008


I've been struggling alot lately with the concept of God's plan for my life, what I want out of life, and where my life is headed.

When I was a little girl, I had alot of different dreams. I would watch different movies or read books about traveling, living in big cities, and going on great adventures. I dreamt of city lights, crazy romances, and an exhausting life of working the perfect job and late nights on the town. I pretty much desired to live in a Lauren Weisberger novel:) As I have gotten older, reality has kicked in a little bit. I still believe that I could do all of these things, but I'm not quite sure if that is the life I still want to live or if it is the life God has planned for me. Plus, I am a small town girl from Beeville, Texas and I currently live in Waco, Texas. Its not like I'm on the highway to this exasborating life just yet.

My mother would love to tell you that alot of this has to do with my boyfriend who, like me, is a small town kid and who I've been dating for over three years now. However, I just don't buy that. Luke loves me and has told me numerous times to follow my dreams. He fully supports me chasing after the life I desire. Another thing I should probably throw out there is that I'm not quite sure if the lifestyle I used to dream about is the kind of life a Christian woman should live. I mean, when I think back to all of those books and movies that only fed my desire to run away from home and move to NYC, I remember beautiful women living in rediculously expensive apartments, going out at all hours of the night only to be present at swanky bars and celeb parties wearing hardly anything while their sugar daddies bought them drink after drink, etc..etc.. You get the idea. So yeah, I'm pretty sure that's not the life God has planned for me.

So where do I find that balance? I'll raise kids in a small town, most likely, but I refuse to end up in Hickville, USA where my permanent address currently resides. However, I'm pretty sure that moving to L.A. is out of the question. Too many temptations to live a life not pleasing to God. Again, how do I find a balance? I know that God gives us the desires of our hearts and that if we trust Him and acknowledge that he is who He says He is, He will direct our paths and make them straight, but I sometimes wish He would just open up the clouds and hand me a pearly little envelope that held inside of it the blueprints of my life. Wouldn't that be nice.

If anyone has any suggestions or advice, I'ld love to hear it.

17 November 2008

My "Really Good Days" Come Around When You Do

I know you've heard it before, because we all have. And we've all said this before as well. What I'm talking about is the phrase, "Today has been a really good day!" (or some sort of arrangement of these words and their synonyms). I mean, you don't normally hear it on Monday or after a 3 hour test; usually these words come about after a really good intramural game, shopping day, date night, and more or a combination of these. When positive things happen in our lives, this usually results in a "really good day."

A couple of weeks ago, one of my roommates and I were talking and she told me that she had been having a "really good day" and I thought to myself, "When was the last time I had a 'really good day?' What exactly does this type of day feel like?" I knew I had experienced such a day before, but it had been a really long time since I had felt like one of my days deserved such a title. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty bummed. Why had my days become mediocre? I'm in college, I live with four of my best friends, I'm a Tri Delt, I'm crazy busy all of the time, I live my life to the fullest and do it all; in my mind, there was no plausible explination for these thoughts. But then, the one person that makes those days "really good days" came back into my life and it all made sense.

This weekend, Luke came to visit me. It had been 4 weeks since we had seen each other and its been a long time since we've spent that much time apart. I was SOOO realy to see him! On Friday he got to Waco around 2pm and we ran errands until it was time to get ready for BRH Formal. We went to formal that night and had a really good time dancing, eating awesome food, and hanging out with friends. Friday was a really good day. Then on Saturday, we got up and went shopping/looking for engagement rings at Zales, James Avery, and Boozers (a local jewelry store known for its engagement rings!). We found a few that we really liked and I was ecstatic!! Don't worry though--we stopped by the game store and the paintball field for Luke:) Then, that afternoon, we rode Luke's bike (yay!) to the Baylor football game, where Baylor kicked A&M's butt 41-21. That night, we rented a movie and hung out at the house with my roommates and their boyfriends/friends. Saturday was a really good day. On Sunday Luke was supposed to leave, but he ended up staying since he didn't have class until 1pm on Monday. We just lounged around all day Sunday, did some homework, and spent time together. Another really good day.

What is it about Luke coming around that makes my days that much more? I love that boy so much and I can't wait to marry him:) Being at Baylor and being in college is awesome and I know that I am blessed to have the opportunity to be here, but Luke is definitely that extra something in my life that makes it all worth while. Our life together is what I strive and work so hard for. I know he feels the same way and that is amazing to me. And I kind of like that my "really good days" come around when Luke does because it makes those days that much more special to me.

Thank you God for Luke and for really good days because I know that it is Your gifts and blessings that make our short time here on earth so wonderful and help us to anticipate the "really good days" ahead when we meet You face to face and get spend enternity with You.

26 October 2008

They're Done!

This past weekend I drove down to South Texas to run in the Corpus Christi Harbor Half Marathon and Relay with my little sister, Claire. Our team name was "They're Done!" That way, when the announcer said our team name at the finish line, he yelled, "They're Done!" Oh well...we thought it was funny! We ran the half marathon as a relay team, each of us running 6.6 miles. It was hard but definitely worth it. At 7 a.m. we took off running up and down the Harbor Bridge and I was blessed to watch the sunrise as we ran across the 181 Causeway over Corpus Christi Bay to Portland. This was a really cool race!

Because of this race, Claire and I were able to hang out, just the two of us, and that in and of itself was worth the trip. She and I have not spent time together like that since before I left for Baylor! We met up in Corpus on Saturday night (I had been at Zephyr; she in Beeville) and went to Academy, where we bought matching pink, long-sleeved running shirts. Then we stopped by Forever 21 in the mall and after that, grabbed a bite to eat at Chick-Fil-A before heading over to Luke's Aunt Brenda's house.

Brenda was nice enough to let us stay at her house since she lives so close to where the race began. Little did we know that when we arrived there, we would find tons of healthy drinks and snacks for us to eat before the race and after for breakfast. Brenda also offered to drive Claire and I to the race at 6:15 in the morning! Just like a mother would, she took pictures of us before and after the race, picked us up after the race, and let us clean up back at her house before we left to go back home. She is an amazing hostess and friend!

At the race, Claire and I met up with Terri, a friend from church, who was also running the race. It was nice to see another familiar face running with us. I ran the first leg and Claire ran the second. It was hard, I'm not going to lie; running up the Harbor Bridge is not easy! But the race itself was beautiful and the weather couldn't have been better!

Looking back, I'm really glad that I let Claire sign me for the Harbor Half. It made me realize that I really want to get back into running and maybe even look into some other races. We even talked about a mini-triathalon! I'm putting a couple of pictures on this post and when I get a couple of more from Terri, I'll add those too. Woohoo for really cool experiences like this one and for making memories with families and friends!

16 October 2008

I Don't Want To Grow Up

So, I have been thinking alot about how after this semester I only have a year and a half left of school and it sort of scares me. I'm not ready to be a grown up yet. I love living with four of my best friends! I love being able to pick up and go do whatever I want to! I love not having to work and being able to skip class. When you are a grown-up, you can't just skip work and you definitely can't always do whatever you want. And once you get married, your four best friends can't live with you anymore. These are depressing thoughts, aren't they?! Well, all silliness aside, I really have been thiking about how college has flashed before my eyes and soon enough, it will be over. I do, however, think it is good that I have come to this realization because it has made me value that much more my friendships, late nights, crazy adventures, and the love that I have surrounding me at Bayor. It's funny how I hated being at Baylor my freshman year and now I can't imagine letting it go. I am going to submerge myself in college life and cherish every moment.

15 October 2008

My Soul Cometh Alive

I have been so blessed the past couple of days to have some very special people stop by my life on their way to other destinations. God knew exactly what I was going to need when I was going to need it (of course) and my soul has come alive, once again, for the people and the places I love.

Yesturday Shaune, Tyler, and Kristie drove through Waco on their way back to Zephyr from the Conclave convention in Ft. Worth. They took me to dinner at Olive Garden and the dinner conversation was so familiar and comforting. We talked about camp and the amazing things God is doing out there right now; we talked about family, friends, our lives. It was like a breath of fresh air to spend time with these people. I love my Zephyr family more than they will ever know and so much of the good in me is because of what they have taught me about God's love and His ministry.

Today, which happened to be an extrememly drizzly day, was brightened for me by the smile of a sweet little girl named Gabi Graves. The Graves family, Justin, Michelle and Gabi, were also on their way back home, but to San Antonio, from the Conclave convention and stopped to take me to lunch at Wendy's. I have missed that precious family so much! It felt as if we had never been apart. Then we went to one of the many Baylor Spirit Shops where they bought Gabi a Baylor Bears t-shirt. She calls me "Sara Poopeck" now because I taught her what her poopeck is and I love that she call me this! (If you don't know, just ask!)I loved catching up with them and talking about next summer. I'm so motivated to serve the Lord even more now because of this family's example of obedience to and love of God. Life is better because I know them.

Thank you God for the way that you re-motivate me and remind me why I do what I do. Thanks for these amazing people that you have placed in my life and for the way that they have expanded my heart to hold so much more love than I could have ever imagined. I don't know what I'd do without them and their friendships. Please bless these people as they continue to serve you and reunite us all again soon. In Jesus' name, Amen.

I miss Zephyr. I want to go home now.

03 September 2008


This seems to happen every year around this time. I'm in the middle of my second week of school and here it is again. That feeling, that God forsaken feeling. Its sort of like someone punched me in the stomach and is now sitting on my chest. It is better sometimes, worse others. I start to second guess everything in my life. My relationships, activities, goals, dreams, plans...everything. Sometimes I catch myself breathing really hard, gasping for breath. All I can come up with is that, once again, I am going through a transition time. It is called change.

I hate this feeling of doubt and uncertainty. I have no clue what I want to do with my life. I have no clue if I am on the right path. Alot of the time I have trouble hearing God; or at least I feel like I do. I feel so distanted from everything and everyone I love. Luke, my family, Zephyr...its like I have left one life and returned to another. And I sometimes wonder if I even like these lives. I feel like a little kid again, just wanting to pack up and run away. I have no where that I truly belong, or at least that is what my heart seems to be telling me. And I think waayy too much about it. Sometimes I think so much that I overwhelm myself and start to cry.

And the saddest part is that I don't know how to stop it. It will go away eventually; it always does. But for now, I am so frustrated that I way to scream and cry. I hate this feeling and I don't know what to do. So, I'll give it to God once again, try not to think about it, and pray with all of my heart that I will be back to normal soon.

31 August 2008

Here We Go Again

Its about that time again. Summer is officially over. I'm back in Waco and I've been in school for one week now. This can only mean one thing: Luke and I are in a long distance relationship once again.

For those of you who don't know us, my boyfriend, Luke, and I have been dating for three years. And for three out of those three years, its been a long distance relationship. EXCEPT for during the summer, when Luke and I have the blessing of being able to work and serve at Camp Zephyr. I LIVE for these three months, the time when I'm able to see him everyday. And now, in what felt like the blink of an eye, thay are over once again. I think this realization just hit me.

It had been about two and a half weeks since I had left camp to go back to school and all of a sudden, it was Labor Day weekend! So, of course, I jumped at the opportunity to go back down to the good old South Texas. Family, Luke, camp, friends...what more could a girl ask for? So, for the past two days I've been working at Camp Zephyr (it is Retreat Season there) and now I'm back home with the family until tomorrow morning, when they will move my sister, Emily, into her new apartment in Houston and I will go back to Waco to get ready for the second week of school in my junior year of college. I really didn't think I would cry this time, leaving Luke and all. Normally, I cry like the rain falls after a ten year drought. Its rough, just ask the boy. How he holds it together is beyond me; I know it hurts him to see me cry like that. But anyway, I really thought I'd be good. I mean, I was able to see him for a couple of days and we'll be back together again in two weeks for another shot gun weekend. So what's the big deal you ask? Ughh..

If you have never been in a long distance relationship, you wouldn't understand. And if you haven't stuck out a long distance relationship, then you still wouldn't understand. This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my whole life. I love this man, mind you. We plan on marrying in the somewhat near future (after we graduate!). And after spending three straight months with him, something my heart longs for year-round, all I want to do is be with him. Now, I'm not the kind of girl that needs to be with a guy 24/7, but our hearts grow closer than ever when we are able to spend so much continuous time together; that is not something I am able to have all of the time. And when I am torn from this, I am broken. So, prettty much, this weekend was nothing but a tease. Suckfest.

Will we be fine? Yes, of course. Do I know that this has to be in God's plan? Yes, of course. But does that make this any easier? Honestly? No, not really. I love Luke. I love him so much. And everyday that I don't get to spend with Him is a day of his life I miss out on. I do have to look on the bright side though. I am SO blessed to be loved by this man. A man of God that is willing to wait for me, no matter how hard it is and no matter how long it takes, as I finish school at Baylor and as he finishes school at A&M-Corpus Christi. Really, I have the best of both worlds. I'm able to focus on school, live with my sorority sisters, make young adults decisions, learn from my mistakes, and so much more as a young and independent woman on my own. At yet, I have the most amazing boyfriend who loves and supports me and is waiting for me at the end of this college road. Still...does this make saying goodbye to him any easier? No. Do I still miss him like crazy? Yes. And do I dream of the day when we can be together forever? Yes, all the time:)

Luke, I love you so much. And yes, I am going to post this sappy blog about you at almost 1 o'clock in the morning because I'm tired and can't stop thinking about you. But I love you and I thank God for you every day of my life. Thanks for being my best friend and boyfriend. I can't wait for the day when I don't have to leave and when you won't have to watch me drive away anymore. I love being in the circle with you and I love that no on else can come in:) I love that you call me turkey bird and I promise to come up with a cool name for you at some point! Thanks for being such a great example of patience and love. Thanks for opening my eyes to new ways of doing things and challenging me daily. It will never be dull, that's for sure! I love you with all my heart and I can't wait to see you in two-ish weeks!

Always in all ways,

Goodnight people!

20 July 2008

Day 2--We're Finally Here!

Day 2
Julie: “We can’t be more than ten miles from the hotel where we’ll spend the night before heading into Disney World Monday morning. Just a second ago, we spotted the Disney World fireworks show in the nighttime sky and we’re more excited then we have ever been. Elissa is keeping a lookout for Disney signs and I’m not sure whose smile is bigger: her’s or Becca’s. We’re trying to decide what park to start at tomorrow morning…right now I think Animal Kingdom is where we’ll begin. For now, we are looking for a quick supper and an early night to bed so that we can get an early start in the morning. Sending magic and wishes from Florida to Texas, goodnight!”

Becca: “I was the last one to get up this morning and I ate Elissa’s leftover breakfast. I never knew she was so good at making waffles. The whole way here I either slept or listened to my iPod with Elissa. As we pulled into Disney World, Elissa and I saw the grand finale of the Disney World fireworks and got totally excited for this week!

Sara: “We have finally arrived in Florida and it was a crazy trip. I started off pretty patient, but I’m not going to lie, there were times the kids drove me absolutely nuts! But I guess I’m just not used to being around kids this age for 20 and ½ hours in a car at a time. The good news is, I can never stay aggravated long because one of them will laugh hysterically, let out a deadly fart, or smile really big and yell, “DISNEYWORLD!”, and I’m in love with them once again. I’m pretty sure we are headed to The Magic Kingdom tomorrow where we will go on safari rides, watch 3D animal shows, climb huge trees full of wild animals, and so much more. I’m excited to let go of the everyday life and become a kid again. It is going to be a great time of bonding for me and my parents/sisters, us girls and our cousins, Nanette and her kids, and all of us together. Once I’ve taken tons of pictures, I’ll start posting them on the blog so that our readers can see what we’ve been up to. God has blessed us so far by giving us such an easy drive and I know that He will continue to bless and watch over us throughout this trip. I’m excited for the memories we are going to make this week! Please keep us in your prayers and we’d love to hear from anyone at anytime. Give us a call or feel free to leave comments at the end of each blog! We love you! Goodnight."

Disney World//Florida Family Road Trip 2008!!

Day 1
So, for the next few weeks, my personal blog is going to turn into a family blog, as it follows the Martisek and Eernisse families to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. My parents, myself, and my and three sisters are on the trip: John, Julie, Sara, Emily, Claire, and Becca Martisek. Also, my cousin, Nanette Eernisse, and her three oldest kids are with us: Emily, Ethan, and Elissa. We started yesterday, July 19th and arrived in Orlando, FL today, July 20th. Our Disney park passes are for Monday through Thursday and we’ll leave for home sometime either Thursday or Friday. It is going to be an amazing trip full of long winding roads, multiple “potty” breaks, four Disney theme parks, and tons of family fun! Join us on this crazy ride and feel free to leave us comments on each blog entry as we go!

[These are blog/journal entries from yesterday, but we couldn’t find wi-fi anywhere so I’m posting both yesterday’s and today’s this evening.]

John: “We pulled up to the house about 11:15am honking the horn looking for bodies. To my surprise, Mary is at the front door and out pops Elissa, with Nettie not far behind. I think honking the horn got everybody stirred up. We left just after 12pm, and I knew we had 8 hours of traveling ahead. We made our first two bathroom stops in Edna and Houston. One problem, I was talking to Mary on the cell phone when I accidentally missed the I-10 exit, taking us to downtown Houston. Here was the problem: in downtown, everyone’s restrooms are “out of order” due to the many homeless people in the area. We stopped at a Valero and a CVS; this did not relieve the Disney World crew. We continued on our trip with the goal of catching up with Emily, Claire, and Becca, who were in second car, coming from Hallettsville. Finally, we caught up with them at a Love’s, just past the Louisiana state line. Continuing on, we made a stop in Vinson, LA for gas and another quick potty break. Our final stop before the half way point was in Lafayette, LA, were we ate at Wendy’s for dinner. At this point, the kids moved into Sara’s car, while the adults moved into the suburban. This made for a great time, as we got to discuss more things from the heart. Nettie bragged about her mother, with two comments sticking in my head, “She’s the greatest mom,” and, “I don’t know what I’d do without her.” In fact, we got to joking and talking so much, that I missed the last exit for the hotel, which caused us a delay of 30 minutes. Ok, it’s 11:30pm, and now I’m going to bed.”

Julie: “It is midnight in room 275 in the La Quinta Inn in Slidell, LA. Elissa just got out of the shower and we are out of towels. (Grammy, I promise I will do my best with the hair!) Today we played the “ABC” game in the car, Nintendo until the batteries ran out, and counted all the trains between Beeville and Slidell. If there are any better traveling kids in the world, I sure don’t know them! Tried to decide today which Disney characters are our favorites…Emily is on the look out for Hanna Montana, and the rest of us are still thinking! We’re also wondering what Disney surprises might be in store for our birthday girl on Monday. Stay tuned for more info!”

Elissa: “I’m doing the bicycle with Claire on the floor. I had fun at Wendy’s. I packed my special blue coconut shampoo; it smells good!”

Becca: "Claire woke me up this morning at 9am and I figured it was time I started packing. I was ready to go by 11am and we ended up leaving the house at 12pm. I figured I could have slept for another hour, but I slept all the way to the Wendy’s stop. This was when the kids joined Sara and I in her car. I’ve been up ever since. It has been fun so far!"

Claire: "As much as I hate car games, I had fun playing the “ABC” game with Emily and Elissa all the way to Louisiana! More tomorrow…"

10 July 2008

A Summer For Growth

This summer has been an interesting one to say the least. Going into it, I was not quite sure what to expect and, quite frankly, didn't care. All I knew was that I wanted to get away from school and life in Waco. So once again, I found myself at Zephyr. And oh, what a place to be found.

This is my third summer at Zephyr Baptist Encampment. Howevever, this summer I have served as the Program Assistant to our Associate Director. This new job has been a greater learning experience then I could have ever imagined. At the beginning of the summer, I prayed that God would place strong ministers and leaders in front of me to teach and grow me as I learned even more about camp ministry this summer. As always, He has provided. I have been able to serve and work along side some of the most interesting and coolest Christians in the ministry in South Texas!

Coming at it from another angle, this job has also streched and grown me personally. [P.S. Sometimes, being streched hurts] The adjustment that I had to make this summer, moving from a regular summer staffer into my new title, was not the easiest. I have had to learn to be "the boss" to many of my friends and to sponsors who are quite a bit older than me. This has not been easy, considering that I have worked along side many of our current summer staffers and my lack of knowledge and experience according to some sponsors. On the bright side of the adjustment, I have been continuously uplifted and assisted by my supervisors, much of the summer staff, our many camp directors, and plenty of others! What a blessing it has been to feel the love of the Lord through their encouragement and support.

I have met so many cool people this summer! Just to name a few: Alan Frans, Student Pastor at FBC Round Rock; Cathy Harwick, Children's Ministry Consultant; the Justin Graves Band and Justin's wife and daughter, Michelle and Gabby; Otto and Hotrod, Christian square dance callers; Lindsey Gerdes, Assistant Youth Pastor at Bay Area Fellowship; the Larson family from California, the Flecher family from Corpus Christi, and many others! These people have blessed my life so much more than they will ever know and I will be a better servant for the Lord because of their example of dedication and service to Him.

Luke and I have also had a great summer together. I have been falling more in love with him each day as I have watched him lead our summer staff. God has grown him so much through his job as the Staff Supervisor and it has been an honor to be able to work along side him. I am so amazed by his patience for people and his love of this camp. I am so blessed to be his.

God is continuing to do a great and mighty work in my life as He is preparing me for a life of complete service to Him. I can see and feel it. My calling into this ministry is constantly being confirmed by people and situations that God is placing in my life to teach and stregthen me. As I sit out here on the front porch of the office, typing this post, I am in awe of what God is doing right here, right now. At Zephyr, in my life, in the lives of the kids out here this week, in South Texas, and all over the world. What an honor to be a part of something so much bigger than myself.

02 March 2008


This weekend my mom, dad, and two little sisters came to visit me in Waco. Mom and Becca came up Saturday morning and Dad and Claire came up Saturday early evening. I got to show everyone my new house for next year and they all watched me perform in SING. I went shopping Saturday afternoon with Mom and Becca and it was SO much fun! I really realized this weekend how much I miss my family and how blessed I am to have them in my life. It is easy to forget how much they mean to me when I get all tangled up in my own life and I just don't live at home anymore. I actually almost cried today when I said goodbye to them because I did not want them to go. It is so weird; when I still lived at home I never thought that God would bring us to this point. They drove me crazy when I was in high school. I guess that is all of us maturing a little. I'm so proud to be the daughter of John and Julie Martisek and the oldest sister to Emily, Claire and Becca Martisek. I cannot wait until Spring Break so that I can hang out with them more!! I also look into the future and see all of us girls married with kids and carrying on the tradition of love that my family has grown. I'm so proud of my family, our strength, and our love for one another. Thank you God for the blessing that my family is to me and I just pray that we will continue to make You the center of our lives. Amen.

22 February 2008

Progressive Revelation

Today in my Christian Scriptures class, my professor, Dr. Tatum, talked about the concept of Progressive Revelation. Progressive Revelation is the idea that God reveals Himself as much as He can to us at certain times according to how much we can understand. My mind really grabbed onto this concept.

God is so much greater than we could ever fathom. I have known this since I was a little girl. There is no way that I could ever understand the depths of God's knowledge or love for His people. How amazing is it to think that God is only going to reveal to us just what He wants and needs us to know according to our knowledge so that we are not so overwhelmed by His majesty that we flip out or go crazy.

What a beautiful concept. God wants us to know Him, to have a relationship with Him and be able to converse with Him to the best of our ability. He does not want to throw His magnitude in our faces and treat us like the flecks of dust that we are. He loves us so much that, like a Father, He attempts to simplify His greatness, so that He can better show His grace and mercy.

What a mighty and passionate God we serve.

20 February 2008

The Most Romantic Love Ever Known

To begin, the last few weeks of my life have been, well, intense, to say the least. When this semester started, I knew that taking 18 hours of school, working full time, participating in full time All University SING, taking a little in Tri Delta, singing in BRH, and just being quite awesome, I might add!, was going to be very draining and a bit stressful. However, I had no idea that I could get to this point. Sara Evelyn Martisek? Taking "being way too involved" to another level? Yes, I too could not fathom it, but it is possible, let me tell you.

Embarrassingly enough, I am now going to describe to you what I look like. I am wearing a pair of green Baylor sweatpants and a Lady Brahmas volleyball playoff t-shirt. My face has not seen make up since Monday and I only wore a little Monday night because I had a Tri Delta business meeting. I believe that my hair now has a permanent crease in it from my ponytail because that is how my hair has been worn for the past two weeks. It's disgusting really. I promise I showered last night!

Seriously though, I have been living a non-stop, crazy existence over the past couple of weeks and as of last night I could not figure out why my days felt so long and hard. However, last night at SING practice, it really hit me. Where has God been in all of this? Now the politically correct answer to this question is: right in the midst of it all. That is where God has been. Not because I've placed Him there, but because He is omniscient and omnipresent. But it hit me like a ton of bricks. The reason that I can't balance my time, the reason I am getting so frazzled over the little stuff, the reason I'm unhappy and unsatisfied with life is because I've left Him out of it. My creator, the Giver of all things good, the Reason I sing, dance, study, work, my Audience of One; I'd looked right passed Him.

After my Intro to PR class this afternoon, my professor, Maxey Parrish, and I started talking about SING, BRH, and just life in general. Maxey is the type of professor that truly invests in his students and wants to see the Lord at work in their lives. He shares God's love with all who have the honor of talking with him. Maxey had noticed how tired I looked (Maxey, if you are reading this, I was totally not offended by the fact that you noticed I did not look my best. I concur!) and asked me how I had been doing. I explained to him how exhausted I am and how busy my life has been. His next question to me only solidified what God had been telling me the night before. He asked, "How's your quite time?" This question led into what was probably the most meaningful conversation I have had with Maxey Parrish to date.

He began by reminding me that if you give God minutes He will give you hours; translated, spend time with God and He will navigate life for you. I explained to Maxey how my favorite time to talk with God are those few minutes before I go to bed every night when I can just tell Him all about my day, stresses, and worries. However, recently I had been falling asleep before I had the chance to talk with God. Being the great professor and Godly man that He is, Maxey asked me, "Sara, I know you can talk, but how well do you listen?" Honestly? Not very well.

The Bible tells us that when we are so distressed and there are no words, the Holy Spirit intervenes for us and cries out to the Lord in our place. Maxey explained to me that when we pray, if we are truly listening and are Spirit-filled, then what we hear is the Holy Spirit speaking to the God of the universe. Yes, in our heads we are praying to the Lord, but allowing the Spirit to intervene for us and listening to what God has to say is taking worship to a whole new level. God talking to Himself for us, about us, through us. What an amazing God. What an amazing love. What an amazing God.

1 John 4: 10 says, "This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." Real love is when you have nothing to gain, but you give it up anyway. This is what God did for us. Knowing that He would get nothing in return and not asking for anything either, He gave His Son Jesus, so that we could spend eternity with Him.

Sometimes I have a tough time feeling God's love. I think that alot of it has to do with the fact that I'm a girl and girl's desire to feel loved. God loves us and shows us this love, but not in a boy/girl romantic kind of love. His love is so much greater than any earthly love. So much, that He would speak to Himself in our justification through our longing to know Him more. So much, that He would send His only Son to die on the cross for our sins. Now that's romantic.

Needless to say, God has led me stright back into His arms by allowing me to realize that I was not giving my life and plans to Him. I was trying to live my life on my own, once again. No wonder I was so stressed out! Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." Someone should tattoo that on my arm so that I will see it daily and not forget it!

Thank you God for loving me when I have needed it most and for revealing yourself to me in the most beautiful way possible. Amen.

30 January 2008

Spanish: The Language of Slackers. Not.

So, something really funny just happened to me. Let me preface this just a little bit.

My major requires that I take four semesters of a foreign language. Being from South Texas and having already taken three years of Spanish in high school, I decided to continue my education of this language. No one told me that one of Baylor's toughest departments out of the entire college is Spanish. I've already taken two semesters; I'm currently taking Span. 2310. Sounds exciting right? Well, for this class I'm required to spend one and a half hours in the language lab every two weeks. Doesn't sound too bad. But sitting that still doing something that in no way stimulates any interest in me is pure torture. Here comes the funny part.

I signed in when I got there and decided that I would just leave early, out of intense boredom, and just put on the sign in sheet that I left and hour and a half from when I signed in. I went to sign out and this girl behind the desk walks up to me and says very sweetly, "Do I need to help you sign out?" I told her no, I could do it myself, and she said, "Well I have to initial when you sign out." I freaked. I had no idea how to play this off because I had my backpack and purse on my shoulder, ready to leave. I, a quick thinker and full of whit (or something that may rhyme with whit), said, "Oh, no thank you. I'm just going to the bathroom and I'm going to come back. I just needed a bathroom break and didn't want to leave my stuff in here unaccompanied."

Well, I did go all the way to the restroom down the hall, and laughed at myself the whole way there. Here I was, trying to beat the system and got totally rejected. I felt like an idiot. I gave God a HUGE laugh. I went back ito the lab, signed back onto the computer, and wrote this blog for the remaining fifteen minutes that I was supposed to be there.

I guess this story doesn't sound as funny as I thought it did when I started writing it, but I don't care. I'm still going to publish this post. Stupid Spanish.

13 January 2008

God Through Miranda

The other day I was hanging out with my friend Miranda. I really like Miranda. She's a great girl who is very driven in life, loves to have fun, and has a big heart for the Lord. She's the kind of girl that I feel I can be 100% myself around because she is 100% herself with you, so real. I don't even remember what we were talking about (probably something related to Tri Delt b/c it was during rush and we are sorority sisters), but all of a sudden Miranda said, "I've decided that I'm going to work on not wanting what other people have." I thought that was a huge statement.

I really felt that God had given Miranda just those words to say to me. Sometimes I become so sick of myself because all I do is covet what other people have. God has given me all that I could ever need and more. I am so blessed to be attending Baylor, to be a Tri Delta, to have such a great family and amazing friends, to have such an amazing boyfriend, to have a job where I get to serve the Lord on a daily basis, to be so healthy, and to live such a comfortable life. And yet, I continue to want more and more. A Gucci purse, an SUV, super expensive clothes, Yurman jewelry, a super skinny body, etc. The list goes on and on. Really? I'm so sick of me.

On top of that, I worry so much about what others think of me. I worry about what my Tri Delta sisters think of me. If I'm wearing the right outfits or if I'm saying the right words. It's like I'm trying to be a clone of them. What happened to having your own brain? I worry about what other Christians think about me; if they think I'm "Christian" enough. I'm constantly trying to show people how good of a Christian I am that I'm forgetting about what serving the Lord is all about. I spend so much time trying to prove to everyone that I'm a woman of God that I forget to be. In the end, I find myself feeling like a fool, like I'm letting God down. Really? I'm so sick of me.

Miranda's words really hit me. I have decided that I am going to start making an effort to not want what others have, but want what I already have: A beautiful life that God has blessed tremendously and given to me so mercifully. I'm also going to focus more on making Jesus Christ my Audience of One. The only person that I need to be living for and pleasing is Him. And when others do look at me or judge me, all I want them to see is a daughter of the King who serves Him with her whole heart. I want to be more selfless. I talk about myself alot, when instead I should be sharing Christ's love. That's not who my Savior desires for me to be; it's not who He has created me to be.

So, I'm going to not want what others have, stop trying to live up to others expectations, and try to be less selfish. If you want to call them new year's resolutions, go for it. But I'm going to call them life goals. Thank God for friends like Miranda who do not even know God used them, but allow Him to do so anyway, and bless the lives of people like me. God works in mysterious ways. And for me, in blunt, in your face, kind of ways.


03 January 2008

My Holiday Break

This Christmas break has been a weird one, which is not unusual for my family. I would almost not even call it Christmas break, I would just call it a break from school. It's not that we don't celebrate Christmas because we do. It's just that my parent's job requires them to work steadily from the beginning of December until the end of April. Can anyone guess their occupation?

My parents own a franchise of Jackson Hewitt Tax Service that is based in Beevile, TX. They've been running this business for 9 or 10 years now. Wow, I just realized how long they have been doing this! They also just bought a second franchise south of Victoria, TX. I think they will have 5 offices running this year and twice that many next year. They rock, what can I say?

However, because of where the peak season of this business falls, Christmas becomes a little frazzled in my family. The four girls will shop for each other and do most of Mom's shopping. It works, we stick together. We do not want Christmas or the reason we celebrate Christmas to be overlooked, we just have to do our best to keep focused. This business is our livelihood. Dad's favorite saying is, "It's for the family." And it's true.

Where most parents work all year long and make an annual income, my parents work maybe five months out of the year and make the same amount or more. God has really blessed my parents with this job because He knew there were four girls to put through college. Times can get really hectic and crazy, but we push through and our parents get to spend 7 full months out of the year with us.

So, with all of that said, Christmas didn't really feel all that much like what most people think Christmas feels like. We went to Christmas at my Dad's side of the family on Christmas Eve after the candle-light service at church. Then, we went to San Antonio for Christmas day with my mom's side of the family. That was about it. Mom said this year that since the Wise Men brought baby Jesus presents after Christmas, that's what we are doing this year. Hitting up the after Christmas sales! That made me laugh.

After Christmas was over, I started working at the main office in Beeville. I really like it because I get to make some money before I go back to school and I'm not sitting at home on my butt like I know I would have been doing if I had stayed in Hallettsville. I file, stamp and label papers and file folders. I shred important documents (that aren't that important anymore!) and answer the phone. I've gotten pretty good at giving the customers legit answers to their tax questions. I'm impressed with myself!

Being in South Texas has been nice in that I've been able to hang out with Luke and Sarah alot. For those of you who don't know who I'm talking about, Luke is my boyfriend that lives in Corpus Christi and Sarah, aka Kubal, is my best friend from Zephyr. Kubal and I have had multiple sleep-overs and Luke and I have been able to spend alot of time together. I think I have decided to move back to South Texas after I graduate from Baylor. I forget how much I love the people and the lifestyle down here. I can't wait! I'm already looking for land to buy!

A couple of other things that happened over the break were the Zephyr Winter Staff Retreat and Amanda's wedding. The retreat was right before Christmas and it was AMESSING to say the least(inside joke)! I got to climb the rock wall, jump off the zipline, shoot skeet, eat some amazing food, listen to some amazing worship and preaching and just reconnect with my Zephyr family. Right after Christmas was Amanda's wedding. Amanda, a friend of mine from Hallettsville, married a Chilean man on the 29th. The wedding was bilingual and beautiful. I'm so glad that Amanda and Christian are happy!

As you can see, my Christmas break wasn't your normal Christmas break. But I am far from normal, so it makes sense. I'm not ready to go back to Waco just yet, but it's just around the corner. I'm going to miss my South Texas and my friends!! When I get back we start Rush 2008. I'm excited about that though; I can't wait for our new baby Tri Delta Pearls! And after school gets going again, I am going to be helping lead a DNow at FBC Katy at the end of January. Life just keeps on coming, I love it!

Thanks for listening to my many words. Blessings.