Sunday, March 26, 2017

God is so Good!

It's been such a wonderful weekend, I hope for you too!? Continue reading below if you're interested in learning how exactly this weekend has convinced me of God's goodness! 


Alpha met at 6:15 in the morning at the Ballet Magnificat Studios to get on our bus and drive 4.25-hours (280 miles) to Longview Texas for a Performance of The Arrival and Deliver Us at 7 pm that same day at First United Methodist Church. We arrived at 11:30 am to start setting up.

It was such a nice church with beautiful bells that would ring every hour.
We started the day with beautiful weather!

Beautiful flowers (God is Good!)

Beautiful Margot!

Micky and her husband exploring the premise

Micky and I spot an advertisement for our show!

Rachel giving instructions; The church connected us with these WONDERFUL strong men from a ministry called Hiway 80. They helped us unload our trailer. WE were all SO grateful for their help! (God is GOOD!)

Praying before the work begins

Praying before lunchtime. We like praying. (God is so GOOD!)

Lunch was AMAZING! (God is GOOD!)

Time to get our performance faces on! #bathroomselfie

Catherine looking happy with her pre-performance snacks! (God is Good!)

The performance went marvelously well, and despite the weather going awry with tornado warnings and such, we had an excellent turnout. The Gospel of Jesus went forth to nearly 400 people! (God is GOOD!)

A group shot of Alpha with the Men's Shelter Recovery Program members of Hiway 80. Again I must say we were SO thankful and blessed for their help and for having met these brothers in Christ. We are all works in progress, and my! Do these men have amazing stories; testimonies in the making, just like us all!  (GOD IS SO GOOD!)

Friday night into Saturday morning-

We stayed in this AMAZINGLY COMFY hotel, The Wingate by Wyndham of Longview, TX.

There was a luxurious, clean pool I took advantage of Saturday morning! There is nothing like a good swim after a night of performing! (God is so Good!)

After returning home from our trip, we found out THIS GIRL, my beloved housemate got a job position with Vivid, a Christian ballet company in Connecticut! God is GOOD! Pictured here, my housemates and I enjoying frozen yogurt, making a spontaneous trip to Menchies, one of our favorite dessert places, to celebrate!

That's all folks!
Celebrate the little and big things! Praise the Lord with me!
Comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy! 

   Have You Read...  

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

March Madness

March Madness is upon us... What is March madness you ask? I couldn't explain it any better than Global Anchor Katie Couric in the video clip below.


 Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” 

~ Luke 8:39 

Presenting with excitement, I introduce to you Testimony Tuesdays!!! A testimony by definition is: a formal written or spoken statement, a public recounting of a religious conversion or experience. The Bible commands us in numerous places to bring praise, glory, and honor to our God by proclaiming, declaring, and telling about His marvelous works to others. That is the purpose and heart behind this installment for my Tuesday posts. Each Tuesday (more or less), a testimony will be shared here involving the recounting of salvation, redemption, overcoming, and/or healing just to name a few; A story that brings glory to our God and in which we might be encouraged, spurred on, and challenged with at the same time.The stories that will be shared will either be of my own personal experiences, excerpts from books, testimonies I find via youtube or other media sources, as well as YOURS! I would love to know and give you the opportunity to share here with us a testimony of your own, of whatever fashion that involves the Lord doing a transforming work in your life. Just email me your testimony and I will see what I can do about posting it on a future Tuesday! You may choose to have your name be known or anonymous. I look forward to hearing from you!

Though I would consider it to be my favorite sport if I had to choose one, don't be fooled; I know practically nothing about basketball. Any enthusiasm that I have for basketball has been birthed out of my dad's enthusiasm for it. I cherish the childhood memories I have of playing the game with my dad and siblings. I haven't retained much knowledge of what those horrid high school gym classes taught me about basketball, but the appreciation I have for the sport is still there. And my appreciation for it has only grown with the connection with my boss' son-in-law, Bryce Drew coaching for The Vanderbilt Commodores men's basketball team, representing Vanderbilt University in Nashville Tennessee. I have become a big fan and have adopted them as my 'favorite team'. ^_^  It was just last year that I got to see Bryce Drew in action and experience a legit basketball game live for the first time! I wrote a blog entry about that HERE.

With Basketball on the brain and with my tradition of sharing testimonies on Tuesdays, Today I would like to introduce to you basketball player #5, Matthew Fisher-Davis, a team member of The Vanderbilt Commodores. I believe a lot of viewers have had their eyes on this talented player, but more than just his stats, I think everyone has got to take a look into this young man's recent conversion story!  Check out the articles below and be encouraged by our Amazing God. Observe how our Lord pursues us and can use any circumstance to draw us nearer to himself. He sometimes uses light and momentary affliction to prepare us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Cor. 4:17). He is a jealous God over us, and is faithful to complete the work he has started in each of us (Phil. 1:6)! Also, the articles below made me marvel at what Godly examples Coach Bryce Drew and Assistant Coach Roger Powell are to their team, and how they really seem to have their priorities straight! To God be the glory! Check out the stories below:

- Vanderbilt's leading scorer gives 'life to God' after benching

- Vanderbilt coach's great response to his player's heartbreaking mistake on the court 

“ we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while  we were  still weak,  at  the right  time  Christ  died  for the ungodly."

~Romans 5:3-6 

Happy Tuesday!
Thanks for Stopping by!
For more understanding on why Christ died for us read the rest of Romans 5.
God Bless! Comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy! 

   Related Content  

Sunday, March 19, 2017

My Fail-Proof Packing List

Image Source

Ask Yourself These Questions:

#1  Do you have a suitable, comfortable, set of clothes packed specifically for traveling? Whether your travel days consists of long layovers hanging out in the airport or maybe just one crazy-long flight to some far off destination, you want to make sure you plan on wearing lose comfortable warm clothing. Airports can be cold and you want your clothing to leave room for that uncontrollable swelling that may happen to your body due to high elevation in flight.

#2 Do you have both formal and casual outfits packed? Depending on what your trip entails be sure that you've packed the appropriate styled clothing. Personally I like to make sure I always have at least one outfit packed for working and getting dirty in, and at least one outfit packed that is more formal whether for church or a night out! Sometimes there's no telling what your trip will have in store for you!

#3 If you are traveling for business, do you have the proper supplies and attire with you that you will be needing? If your "business" is anything like mine that would include: 
  • My dance bag with all it's odds and ends, leotards, dance shoes, warm ups etc. 
  •  Performance earrings and makeup 
  •  Teaching clothing

#4 Have you considered what jewelry and accessories can appropriately be paired with your packed outfits?
  •  It is amazing how a simple accessory like a necklace or headband can totally dress up and transform one of those casual outfits you've packed.

#5 Have you considered what shoes can appropriately be paired with your packed outfits?  
  • A good pair of walking shoes 
  •  I usually pack casual light weight slip on shoes, as well as a more formal pair of shoes.
  • Remember socks!

#6  Have you packed an appropriate amount of lounge wear/ sleep attire and underwear? 
  • It is important to me to remember to pack pajamas! And modest ones at that. You never know who you will have to come across while you're lounging around outside the normal comfort and controlled environment of your own home. 
  •  For those special shirts, make sure you've pack the right style and colored undershirts, camisoles, and bras to pair them up with.

#7  Have you considered packing special attire to meet the needs of unique weather conditions? 
  • A raincoat?
  • A swimsuit?
  • Shorts? 
  • A light jacket? 
  • A warm coat? 

#8 Do you have all your essential toiletry and hygiene "supplies" packed?  
  • Protect yourself. Make sure you take sun screen and bug spray.

*When flying, save weight and space by packing these items in travel sized 3oz. containers.

#9 Have you considered packing any/all necessary sustenance?  
  • You may want to consider having some comfort snacks on hand for long travel days or long trips where you might find yourself craving a taste of home. 
  •  Bring a hardy supply of vitamins. Especially Vitamin C to keep your immune system nice and strong. 
  • Dayquil or Nightquil are always nice to have on hand.
    • Ibuprofen seems to be dancers' best friend.

    #10 What are you bringing to kill time, for entertainment, and leisure? 
    • A journal?
    • Ipod/ Mp3 player?
    • Books?
    • Laptop? ( Note, I would not consider taking bulky and valuable possessions as such internationally)

    ***BONUS*** Always double check to make sure these last minute items got packed. Last minute items that are commonly forgotten are:
    • Tooth brush and toothpaste- One time I made the mistake of forgetting to pack mine and so out of desperation I had to buy a 4 dollar 'thin-as-a-twig' tooth brush from a random convenience store in the touristy part of Israel. I hope you won't ever have to do that.
    • A Pen or other writing utensil- Again, learn from my mistakes. Bring your own writing utensils so that you don't have to resort to purchasing items at the airport or at other overly priced convenient stores.
    • Cell phone chargers and other electronic device chargers
    • An extension cord- packing one of these with you will change your whole traveling experience. I recommend carrying it in your carry on.
    • Gum- Who doesn't want nice smelling breath after that nice long nap you had in flight.
    • Chapstick or Vaseline- The air is often very dry in airports and in flight.
    • Passport and/or ID- I don't know what to tell you if you forget to bring these. Don't leave them behind!

    Consider packing the additional following items for international travel:    
    • Laundry Detergent- If you are traveling international you may want to bring your own detergent that can be used even for hand washing clothing in sinks. I recommend packing the powdered detergent that weighs less and dissolves in water.
    • Arch Supports- If you plan on doing a lot of walking, these are a must-have sneaker accessory.
    • Compression socks- These come in handy to alleviate swelling in flight or when you plan on being on your feet all day.
    • An International Adapter and Converter- These will come in handy when traveling to different countries requiring different electrical outlets and voltages. 
    • Pocket packs of tissues- In some nations, be prepared to enter bathroom stalls, or 'water closets' with no toilet paper. That is when these tissues really come to the rescue!
    •  Travel sized hand sanitizer- Keep yourself protected from harmful germs at all times.
    • Tampons- Sometimes these can be hard to find internationally.
    • A water purifier of some sort- When making trips to less developed nations, the drinking water may not be safe for consumption. Water filters come in many forms and fashions and can be found on  Travel Water Filters at Amazon
      • Fabric softener dryer sheets- A fantastic way to keep your shoes and clothes smelling fresh. Place a couple of these sheets in with your tightly packed clothes, and throw a few sheets into your shoes.
      • Eye mask and ear plugs or headphones- These items will help you to fall asleep any time, any where.
      • A Book light- Read any time, any where.
      •  A scent- I love to bring Vicks vapor rub, and/or Thieves essential oil with me on trips. The familiar scents help me feel at home, and assist me in falling asleep.  
      •  A compact-able easy-to-pack bag or tote- You might find it helpful once you get to your destination to have an extra bag to compartmentalize, separate and organize your things. I like to bring one of those thin 'earth-friend' recyclable grocery bags that are trending these days. I just fold it up all small and tight, and store it in my luggage until needed.
      •  Pillowcase- bringing your own pillow case might also help you feel more at home. it can also double as a sack to out things in. 
      •  A small pickpocket proof purse- Standing out as a 'gullible' tourist in some far off land; the risk of you being targeted by thieves and pickpocketers automatically increases. No need to live in fear, but being smart and taking safety precautions are suggested. One rule of thumb is to do your research. Adopt the cultures style and try to blend in. STAY FAR AWAY FROM FANNY PACKS, for multiple reasons. ^_^ The recommended purse of choice for international trips would be small, and to have a cross body strap so that you can keep your purse in front of you and visible at all times. Purse pockets that can close with zippers would be your best bet. 
      •  A compact travel sized Bible- Do yourself a favor and lighten your load by carrying around a smaller light weight bible that will fit into that smaller light weight purse. ^_~

      *Check out what my pre-travel preparations and packing rituals are HERE!

      Thanks for stopping by! Let me know that you did!
      Have a question you'd like to ask me? Go for it!
       and if there is anything else we should be packing that I forgot to put on the list,
      leave a comment and share it with us below!

         Have You Read...  

      Wednesday, March 15, 2017

      What's Cooking Wednesday | Pasta Salad

      So that goal I had about cooking more this year... 😂 I guess I haven't done such a hot job at fulfilling that one yet. I have been rocking it with salad assembling, though! Here is one of my favorite salad recipes to make for the work week. It is easy, delicious, and packed with hardy-fuel generating ingredients to get me through the week. And it has bacon! Yum!


      • 2- 1/2 cups of pasta (I used Tortiglioni but I suggest bow tie pasta which works really well too!)
      • 6 cups of leafy greens (I just used whatever I had, but romaine lettuce is recommended)
      • 1 medium tomato, diced 
      • 4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (25 seconds in the microwave speedily crisped my bacon to perfection)
      • ½ cup of ranch dressing
      • 1 tablespoon of barbecue sauce
      • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
      • OPTIONALLY add whatever else you desire...Chicken, Carrots, Crotons... etc. ^_^


      1. Cook pasta, drain and rinse under cold water.
      2. Combine your greens with your pasta and salad toppings.
      3. Mix ranch and barbecue sauce together and drizzle over salad.
      4.  Gently toss, pepper, and serve!

      Buen Porvecho!

      comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy! 

         Have You Read...  

      Tuesday, March 14, 2017

      A Weight Lifted


      “ Return home and tell how much God has done for you.”

      ~ Luke 8:39

      Presenting with excitement, I introduce to you Testimony Tuesdays!!! A testimony by definition is: a formal written or spoken statement, a public recounting of a religious conversion or experience. The Bible commands us in numerous places to bring praise, glory, and honor to our God by proclaiming, declaring, and telling about His marvelous works to others. That is the purpose and heart behind this installment for my Tuesday posts. Each Tuesday (more or less), a testimony will be shared here involving the recounting of salvation, redemption, overcoming, and/or healing just to name a few; A story that brings glory to our God and in which we might be encouraged, spurred on, and challenged with at the same time.The stories that will be shared will either be of my own personal experiences, excerpts from books, testimonies I find via youtube or other media sources, as well as YOURS! I would love to know and give you the opportunity to share here with us a testimony of your own, of whatever fashion that involves the Lord doing a transforming work in your life. Just email me your testimony and I will see what I can do about posting it on a future Tuesday! You may choose to have your name be known or anonymous. I look forward to hearing from you!


      In my opinion, insecurity, self esteem, and body image issues are some of the most under-rated, overlooked forms of spiritual bondage out there, which is a shame because the emotional and physical wounds they inflict on people can be catastrophic and can go so far as to virtually incapacitate. 

      Today I would like to share with you this YouTube video I found of female vocalist, Amy Perry from the Christian contemporary vocal trio 'Selah' performing one of my favorite songs called 'I Look To You'. Additionally, Amy shares with us a bit of her personal struggle with body image issues.

      Amy Perry's story really hit home for me because body image issues were something that I too once struggled with. The society and culture that we live in today do not make things easy for us women. Satan really knows how to use them against us to bring us down. Battling with body image and food can be a frustrating fight.  After all, you can't just stop eating (...a common temptation many women are led to believe is a perfect and easy solution, but is actually NOT; it's not a solution at all, as the roots of body image issues really go much deeper then solely the physical)! During my season of struggling with these things I just felt so hopeless, alone, and trapped. But I hope you are encouraged by what Amy shares with us in the video below. Our value goes beyond just how we look, and hope and freedom can be found in forsaking ourselves and surrendering to Christ. 

      The song 'I Look To You' was actually written by R. Kelly and was originally first performed by Whitney Houston debuting in 2009. I did not first hear of this song until 2012 though, when as Ballet Magnificat trainees we were given some choreography to dance to Selah's version of it. Check out my friends performing the choreography at a 'Women of Faith' conference here. This song and dance have become quite special to me, and even more so after hearing Amy Perry's testimony paired with it! I hope you enjoy the video below and are blessed!

      Happy Tuesday!
      Thanks for Stopping by!
      Can you relate to any of this? What did you think about Amy's story?
      comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy! 

         Related Content  

      Monday, March 6, 2017

      3 Lessons Learned In February About Confidence and Contentment

      February was a long month for me, how about you? In all of the challenges and trials that were presented to me, February did not go by without me learning a few lessons, no doubt, that were God appointed. His lessons are sometimes hard. His lessons are sometimes easy. His lessons are sometimes new ones, and sometimes they are repeats, but one thing about His lessons that are constant is that "later on, they produce a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who are trained by them" ( Hebrews 12:11 ). I would like to transparently share with you three lessons out of the many, that the Lord has been teaching me over this past month, in hopes that you might be able to relate and/or learn from them too!


      It is wrong to be embarrassed by what you can't do. This past month God taught me that I shouldn't let what I can't do, keep me from what I can. I have been holding onto this phrase ever since he slipped it into my mind. God helped me to recognize that allowing myself to be embarrassed by what I can't do was inviting the enemy to come in and distract me by taking my eye's off of Jesus and onto myself, and oppress me with discouragement, hopelessness, and insecurity. I had the realization of this one day in the middle of rehearsal while getting frustrated with my dancing abilities (or my lack thereof), but I also believe that the truth of this lesson can be applied to all the other areas of my life as well, whether physical, mental, or spiritual! I shouldn't let what I can't do, keep me from what I can. From this lesson, I have learned the importance of focusing my thoughts on my giftings rather than my shortcomings, and then running with them in confidence knowing that the Lord can maximize my efforts and will be glorified by them, and that his plan/will for my life can't be thwarted, regardless of me.

      • 2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;

      Image Source


      People-pleasing is a waste of time. A lesson I find myself relearning time and time again, people-pleasing is rooted from selfish pride and from the thinking that I actually have something worth making other people obsessively gawk over me about, especially when it comes to my "excellent dancing" or "righteous living". How selfish is that! Go ahead and just call me a Pharisee! Sharing my repulsive confession about how I think like this sometimes is painful, but is necessary to reveal. I find comfort in thinking, "Surely, I am not the only one who struggles with this?!" but that does not make it okay. The Lord has been showing me that putting my worth in my self-righteous works, my achievements, and in what other people think of me, is dangerous and is going to let me down. Not to mention that what may have started out as small, innocent self-accolades quickly can turn into the huge problem of self-idolization which is what happened to me, and this is very offensive to God. Galatians 1:1 0 says, " am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." Yikes! I believe these selfish desires for self-exaltation come from the sinful nature inside me. I've learned that I must "never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." (Galatians 6:14 - I LOVE Galatians! 😊) The solution lies in the basis of humility and gazing my eyes upon Christ instead of myself or anything else. After all, anything that I am is only because of Him and that is humbling!

      •  1 Peter 4:11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.

      Image Source


      There is great gain in godliness with contentment. (1 Timothy 6:6) With lots of change approaching on the horizon, I let fear of the future and a lack of trusting God get the best of me this past month. Self-examining my life led to discontentment and a fear and faithlessness that resurrected the 'control freak' inside of me. Sure, in reality, I don't make a lot of money, I can't afford to live on my own like I desire to, I haven't met the man of my dreams yet, I don't get to invest in my community as much as I'd like to because of touring, and I do get weary of doing good now and again (Galatians 6:9), and sometimes feel TRAPPED by my less than satisfactory circumstances, BUT that doesn't mean that my God isn't big enough to supply all my needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19) or that He isn't working out all things for my good (Romans 8:28) because He is. 

      Through my unfortunate experience with frustration this past month, I can tell you I've learned that it is NEVER a good or fruitful idea to entertain the spirit of discontentment, wallow in unthankfulness, and/or step out of God's will by taking matters into your own hands. It only makes for endless misery and a skewed perspective of things. I had forgotten the promises of the Lord and who He is. Without getting into details, I simply lost patience with God; I wanted to call the shots and rely on my own strength and understanding because I found discontentment in what I thought He was doing in my life. I discovered that my actions of ignoring him and taking control only incubated excessive amounts worry, stress, and anxiety; bad fruit! Surely a supernatural thing, It wasn't until I humbled myself before the Lord (1 Peter 5:6) that my joy in life, and peace returned. And sometimes, it embarrassingly but truthfully takes me a whole month before I figure things like this out. ALL of PROVERBS 3 has now become especially close to my heart during this time of rebuilding proper eternal perspective, trust, and contentment in God and his plans for me. If you are struggling with discontentment I encourage you to turn to God's word and remember his promises, not a moment too late!

      • Philippians 4:11-13 for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
      Image Source

      And Now, I leave you with this dear song sung by Brian Littrell containing very relevant lyrics that are my heart's cry! 

      Be blessed and have a great month!

      Thanks for reading friends,
      comment, follow, subscribe, and don't be shy! 
         Related Content  

      Thursday, March 2, 2017

      March Hand Lettering and Illustration Challenge

      Check out the CREATE tab above or click HERE for more creative inspirations!
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Happy Creating!

         Have You Read...  

      Wednesday, March 1, 2017

      A Fun Filled Weekend In Lakeland

      Since returning home Sunday from tour and then having had two days off after that to recover, today was our first day back in the Ballet Magnificat studios. Taking some time off to rest really does my body good. It made moving around in the studio again feel so wonderful. Today we began 'dusting off' old choreography for our Easter ballet called Savior that we will be performing in Lafayette, Louisiana on the 13th and 14th of April. It is such fun choreography for us to work on. But speaking of fun, Today I want to update you about my time spent in Lakeland, FL this past weekend. I had been anticipating this weekend for quite some time, looking forward to seeing some family members of mine that live in the Tampa area, and getting to perform our ballet Stratagem for the first time this season! 

      We left for Lakeland last Wednesday, took two days to get there, performed Friday and held a Ballet Magnificat mini dance workshop Saturday.


      During our fuel stop, I found this fantastic hat at a Love's truck stop. I didn't buy it.

      Our host family in Lakeland had the CUTEST children ever! (they still HAVE them. 😛
      They couldn't fit in my suitcase! ) 

      ...And they had birds too!

      Here is Emma with one of their pet Chickens named Romeo!

      We performed at the Polk Theater in Lakeland Florida

      It was such a nice theater!

      Moving our stuff in; Our props and sets take over the stage

      taking our lunch break in the 'Green Room'

      The dressing rooms were nice!

      It was my dear friend Catherine's debut as a demon. She did devilishly well! ^_^

      Check out this footage from the show!


      After the show I got to see some family!

      I got to see my twin brother!

      I stayed Friday night at my uncles house. My sleeping quarters were prepared with 'piggy things' to make me feel at home. They know me so well! 💗

      The next day I taught a beginners ballet class at the Florida Dance Theater Studios.

      fixing a student's placement

      Here Catherine and I are feeln' young, and feeln' fly 😎 getting to ride in the back back seats of our host's vehicle.
      After the Ballet Magnificat Mini Dance Workshop was over, returning back to my host family, we piled in the car and headed out for dinner. Our final destination was set to be 'Twistee Treats'. They wanted us to experience 'America's best real ice cream'

      BUT IT WAS CLOSED! So we had to 'settle' with Baskin Robins.
      It was still SO good! ^_^

      The Lord has been so good to me, to bless me with such an amazing, awesome, fun-filled weekend in Lakeland! I always love visiting Florida. The Alpha company will now be home for quite an extended amount of time this month and without any tours to write about, I might need your help coming up with some good blogging material? Do you have any ideas of what I should write about next? Please Share!
      Leave a comment below!

      Thanks so much for reading!
         Have You Read...