Monday, September 30, 2013

Food for Thought

What's Wrong With Guarding Your Heart?| Recovering Grace

This was something I struggled with greatly going up. This was a teaching that everyone around me advocated and for a while I bought it hook line and sinker...until I saw that it wrecked perfectly normal and healthy friendships between my girlfriends and guys in our church.  I came to college terrified every boy thought I was flirting with them and that they thought I was a whore.  I would even go so far as to say that some of these teachings affected how I approached my first relationship. We need to stop trying to micromanage and control every single aspect of our lives and everyone elses and instead love openly and without reserve in the way Jesus would want us to.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The G4 Swartz Family: She's Here!

The G4 Swartz Family: She's Here!: Hayden Ruth Swartz was born September 21, 2013 at 6:50pm, weighed 7 pounds 6 ounces and measured 20 1/4 inches. It has been a little over a ...

One of my dearest best friends from home just had her first baby girl! Welcome to the world Hayden Ruth! You are such a gift!

I've known Heather since I was 8 years old and we have done so much growing up and maturing together. It's been amazing watching her fall in love with George, be there at her wedding, and then witnessing the entire pregnancy.

I love you Dearie! I can't wait to meet her!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Deon's 21st Birthday

Deon turned 21 on Tuesday. This is so crazy....we are actually in our twenties. We aren't teenagers anymore. I was thinking the other day how instead of saying "back home in Pennsylvania" I say "at my parent's house in Pennsylvania.." how time has flown!

Since his birthday was on a weekday, we spent the whole weekend partying it for him. And by partying I mean hiking, dinner at Texas Roadhouse, and then going to McKay's afterwards like the dorks we are.

My favorite view in the world is at Chilhowee. Imagine sitting on a stone wall listening to the Last of the Mohicans soundtrack....epic. 

We made another stop at Benton Falls since Sam had never seen it. 


Goofing around. 

Sassy Deon 

Dinner at Texas Roadhouse. 

The whole gang: Millie, Anna, Michael Robb, Deon, Heather, Me, Sam, Rachel, Nick, Kelly and Andrea. 
On the way to our first hike!

On Tuesday, Nick made a sumptuous dinner for Deon and just Millie, Rachel and Sam came over for that. We talked and ate, and played some Mario Kart. I made Deon a pumpkin cheesecake and a dessert pizza too. 

I am so proud of my wonderful boyfriend and excited to see where God leads him. He's going to do great things! Happy Birthday Deon. <3 

In which I go on my first Chorale Retreat.

Wow! A lot has happened over the past couple weeks and while I have been busy, I've also honestly been too lazy to bother writing about it all.

About two weeks ago I went on my first retreat with my choir the Lee University Chorale to Big Canoe in Georgia. I've heard about this place numerous times from my friends in Chorale and Deon. It's located in the North Georgia Appalachian Mountains and is simply BREATHTAKING. The community there is quite wealthy and the houses in the mountains are so beautiful and unique. It also serves as a resort so there are many fun things to do. The president of Lee, Paul Conn and his wife Darlia own a home there and attend this small church at the very heart of the mountain whenever they come. That's how Chorale got started coming to Big Canoe. We get there Friday night, stay with our host families, Saturday we spend rehearsing, doing fun activities like a Talent Show and a hike, and then we close the day with a devotional and communion. Then it's up to us what we want to do with our host families for the rest of the evening. Sunday morning we sing at the Big Canoe Church and Dr. Conn always comes, then we head back home.

I cannot begin to tell you what a wonderful time it was. My host home was incredibly courteous and fun to be around. I've had some bad host home experiences in my old choir so host homes always make me nervous, but they are all so sweet!

All of Chorale on our hike!

Andrea and I at a country concert!

Skits and talent show shenanigans. 

The "Senior" members of Chorale. 

After our first performance together! 

Sadly, my host mom isn't in this pic but isn't our host dad cute? 

Rachel, Millie and I.  We were all in Ladies together last year!

Chelsea, Mackenzie, and Victoria were my roommates on retreat!

One of my favorite parts of the weekend aside from performing, was Saturday night. Big Canoe has an amphitheater that hosts seasonal concerts and there was a country singer performing that night. Most of the host homes took us there and the singer was great! He covered a lot of fun songs too like "Footloose" "Don't Stop Believin" and one of my all time favorite songs ever "500 Miles" by the Proclaimers. Chorale just let lOOSE and we danced like nuts in front of the stage! It was one of the most fun nights I have ever had.

Another really special moment for me was during the evening devotional we had. Dr. Green asked each old member of Chorale to take a new member up to the alter for communion. I assumed Deon was going to want to take his friend Sam, but he took my hand and said that he felt it was something we needed to do together. We went up and partook communion and then we sat down together and held hands and prayed together. We both are very awkward horrible prayers when it comes to praying out loud and it's not something we are comfortable doing, but I am so glad we did! I love hearing Deon pray. He talks to God just like he would talk to a best friend. It's pretty funny but also endearing.

Our service went quite well at the church and I can't wait for our first concert October 14th. We are doing lots of great pieces like Haydn's Missa Brevis in F, some spirituals, Richte Mein Gott, and much more! If you're on campus come check it out!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

So true!

Will be updating soon, but in the meantime, heres this extremely accurate quote I saw on Pinterest. ;)