Monday, December 9, 2013

Updates, Christmassy Thoughts and My New Years Plans...

So November has been the busiest month of the fall for me. I spent it in a lot of places, some of my favorites were Exuma, Bahamas, the lovely Turks & Caicos, and Antigua. Antigua surprised me because I have been all over the Caribbean and have never seen bluer water. Don't be too jealous, though. Because this is my day job. It's not the perfect job, it's pretty darn close.
I spent also spent it in South Carolina for Thanksgiving, and I couldn't love my family more. I'm working more and more and went to Orlando for some grown-up business conference which was nice but I just wanted to go outside and play in Disney. I've been working on finals and I'm proud to say I'm a juuniooor. *white girl dance*

But now it's December. I'm writing this by the fire and to me, it really is the most wonderful time of the year. It's family and parties and those scones and fudge my mom only makes at like Christmas only.

But every Christmastime, every year, the commercials, the ads, the promotions...all commercialize Christmas in such a way that it turns holiday, not Christmas. This makes me so sad.
I'm not here to blog "Jesus is the reason for the season..."

But I am curious: why is Jesus' name so offensive? Why do we go out of our way to make it "Happy Holidays", "Holiday tree", and "Winter Wonderland" instead?

I was listening to one of my favorite old bands, BarlowGirl last week. Their song called Keep Quiet :

Jesus, Jesus why's Your name's offensive? Why are we so scared to tell this world You've saved us When all of the hope of this world's in Your name  Why are we so scared to say  Oh Jesus
And this bridge:

I'm sorry I cared about my name more than Yours

I'm so sorry how could I hide You anymore

But if I keep quiet

They'll never see I'm different

If we are too scared to tell the World that Jesus has saved us we can just go ahead and say we care about our name more than HIS! 

I don't want my name to matter more than His. Because this isn't Cherisemas. That has like the worst ring to it ever. It's Christmas. 

So I guess this is more of a memo than an official blog, but here's just a few of my thoughts this Christmas. Short&sweet ;)

Since I only seem to ever compose a blog once every few months, I might as well say Happy New Year. I've found the hottest little party dress and heels and I'm invited to this amazing party and--

--Please. Let's get real.

This girl will be in sweatpants that pjs, and drinking a LOT of...sparkling grape juice. So just don't judge. I'm in bed by like 9:30 except this night sooooooo...

Love you all. Thanks for sharing my life with me this year. 



Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Holy Huddle

Hey Guys! Just decided a blog post was something to crank out right about now and I am so happy to post again.
So I just proofread this and this godly sounding post isn't to compensate for the ultimate fail of my last post...I just had some thoughts and wanted to share. I don't post here very often, (takes me forever to complete these posts!) but I may have exciting news to share soon as I'm happy to announce that I am now represented by Factor Women in Atlanta! I'm getting to be a part of light in the darkness! I couldn't be happier and I'm just so thankful.

Let's start off and say I've had an interesting, less-than-ideal Bible time with Jesus in the morning for a while. While everyone's like: "I love when God speaks to me through His Word!" I'm like: "Well, thanks a lot God, because there's another QT where I got nothing out of it."
But here's the problem: Isn't so much of our Christian walk about what we can get out of Jesus?

Jesus didn't die on a cross for us as His followers to get a high off of religious experiences.

If the reason for investing time in the Bible is to gain something personally, as opposed to spending time with Jesus, how messed up is that?

I was reading in Mark 5 about the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. The story goes on to tell that although she had been to numerous doctors, she was still not healed and her money was gone. But when she sees Jesus (!) she darts underneath the massive crowd that gathers around Him and grasps the hem of the bottom of His coat.
I can just imagine her straining and pushing through the crowd and getting no closer, until she drops to the dusty ground and wriggles through an opening in between people, and stretches her fingertips until she just barely feels the clothing of Jesus. She is instantly healed!
Im sure as healing washed over her and she turns away, she's astonished to hear Jesus inquire "Who touched me?" As all the disciples laughed (this is the CIV...the Cherise International Version, stay with me) they replied: "Lord, many people are pushing against you, and you ask 'who touched me?' " AKA "Hey Jesus, you're making a big deal out of nothing, so if you can keep walking, we can go get ribs or something."
When she falls at His feet, He tells Her that she is healed because of her faith. She was relentless until she physically touches Jesus.

So many Christians are content to huddle around Jesus, but never actually grasp for HIM. 
It's convicting for me, because I can read my Bible all I want, be involved, serve, and check off the Christian Checklist, but if I'm not grasping for Him, trying to know Him more and be more like Him, than I am just checking off a religious experience.

So often I am content to engage in the Holy Huddle. That is, the gatherings, the church services, the Sunday Schools...but if we don't GO OUT among the will we ever reach people for Christ?
That's why I love where I'm placed. I love being placed in a dark industry. I'm so thankful God has given me the opportunity to reach people in the modeling industry. It is so dark.
But a candle shines the brightest in the dark. In light, it only seems to blend with all the other candles.
I want to be a candle in the dark, and light other candles.

I'm tired of the Holy Huddle. I don't just want to huddle around Jesus...I want to grasp for Him.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Second Half of This Post is Way Better

I don't know why I feel like blogging but sometimes being a girl means there's a million thoughts going on in your head and sometimes the best way to get them out is to just write.
And to all the guys who don't know what it feels like to have a million little thoughts just imagine about 472 tabs open on your Mac. All blaring music. All the time.

So hi! I don't know what's going on in my life right now. I don't have an awesome travel story or a big modeling break or fabulous man or cool success story or anything. And I'm okay with saying that. Err, most of that. The whole fabulous man thing. Can we park there a second?

Ugh. Reationships. Drama. Romance. Comedy. That's what it seems like to me mostly.
It's so overrated. Everybody has a boy or everyone's getting married and I love mac and cheese!!!

Every novel, every movie has some plot where some Hercules gets the girl and then they all live happily ever after and life is awesome and the sunset comes out and all that good stuff that sends girls head over heels on whatever actor played that character and then in real life it doesn't happen that way.

Girls, we are so naive to think that relationships are one big bow of perfection.
There goes the single girl giving relationship advice but sometimes things just need to be said.

This isn't going to be a boy blog. This isn't what I'm talking about. That's just a side note and now I'm going to write something else that will make mom happier for me to talk about. Let's just say she isn't a fan of my extremes of: "No boy likes me!" to "HEY WANNA MARRY ME?!" Don't read that mom.

[Transition from self-deprication to deep, theological questions with no witty line. Sorry to disappoint.]

What do you do when you feel like God's plan for your life isn't your own?
How do you handle God giving you a path that you feel is a dead end?
How easy is it to trust a God who still feels silent?

I actually don't have any of those answers so don't expect me to get holy because those are genuine questions. Sometimes it just feels good to just lay it all out there and say that your life isn't perfect and you don't know what God's next step is and you are okay with that. There's a freedom with that.

"If we're not careful, comfort can keep us from the cause of Christ."
The words didn't fall on me until I wrote it down and read it again. Perry Noble was bringing it in a new series at NewSpring called Step Up. And it stuck with me.

I don't want to be comfortable. I want to be sold out for the cause of Christ. What am I living for if it's not for His cause? What impact do I leave if this is my last day?
God has never called us to step down, step aside, or step anywhere but up.
What's my next step? What's my next step? That's all I have to figure out. Just a step.

What's your next step? How about taking a few extra minutes with Jesus tomorrow and asking Him that? Everybody has a next step. What is yours?

So, I can't figure out what to do with my life. I can't figure out my career or my degree plan or my job or my friends or a relationship or anything. Except my next step in my walk with Jesus Christ.

And everyone, I think that I can do that. Thanks for letting me close a couple of tabs here. I feel better.

It's 12:30. I just re-read that and am not sure if it's amazing to publish this or not but whatever. The only thing amazing about this post is that I'm not in bed yet. So this blog post should be changed to "I know. Please don't judge me." Instead. Goodnight.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

When God is Silent

Ladies and Gentlemen: I feel a blog coming on. I'm not sure what this is going to be, and I've written many unpublished blogs in trying to figure myself out since my last post, but I think I'm ready.

I don't want to blog about the successes in my life. I don't want to be a fair-weather blogger. We all like to paint a pretty picture on social media. I'm as guilty as anyone. I think it's important to take it in with a grain of salt. People never magnify the hard times in their life, (with the exception of the drama queen we all are friends with on Facebook.) which brings me to whatever this blog is going to be about.

Oh, where to start. Let's talk about the silence of God.
This is something I've been really struggling with, to be honest. I feel like the Lord has given me a dream, confirmed it, and then turned out the lights and just let me think on that for a while...months. Looking back, it's not a big deal. I have no problems, simple as that. I am so blessed. 

But during this time, I felt like even when I was seeking Him in the morning, He was silent. 
I remember days where I was--and sometimes am--thinking "God! I'm searching for You! I'm trying to be near to You and do Your will and I'm hearing nothing!" Can I just be raw? "Is this all I get from You?! Here I am trying to be with You and know You more and You're not even speaking to me!" 
That happened. 
I'm not saying that I'm on the other side. I'm not saying I'm out of the dry season. But The Lord spoke such a word into my heart, saying "Cherise, don't ever let the storm you're facing keep you from seeing that I am walking with you." The lyrics to this beautiful song crushed me: "You carry us, carry us when the world gives way
You cover us, cover us with Your endless grace Your love is relentless. You won't relent."

I was slapped awake today that I do not have a storm, a problem, or a trial. I am so, so blessed. I'm thankful for everything that the Lord has given me. And He's given me so much.

In conclusion, (there goes my college girl writing) I was...disappointed with Jesus--the audacity I had to resent that He wasn't making things go my way--until I got hit in the face that if Jesus never does another thing for me ever again, He has done enough.

So now, what have I been doing since my last appearance on this blog? I've just graduated high school and I'm working on my degree. I'm almost halfway through by dual enrolling. I work at the barn. I live a normal girl life. 
The only really exciting thing I've been doing has been traveling to the Caribbean with Momma touring Sandals and Beaches resorts, (I'm in the process of becoming a Sandals agent.) and I've been dubbed the official sounding title: Social Media Director, which is fancy for I like to tweet in a beachside Cabana at the Bahamas. 
Everything is just senior girl normal. New York is still my passion. Modeling is still what I feel like I'm called to do, but in anything, there's a time and place, and right now, timing is everything. I do modeley stuff here in Atlanta, but I'm in the process of growing just like anybody else.

I just want to be content like Paul. I'm thankful. I have days where I wish that God would just hurry up and bring me out of this season of waiting, but if this brings me closer to Him it's worth it.
I consider my home church Newspring, I love being a part of Passion City Church, and I'm an avid lover ofThe Voice if my twitter feed doesn't already scream that with tweet-ups. (I knew Danielle would win!) I've said all that I feel like I can. But there's no pretty bow to tie this post up. This is not a pretty story of my 'next big thing', this is just me filling you in on the lows as well as the highs, and what's really going on.
I'm Cherise. Here's what I've learned. I'm done.

Thanks for listening.