I am learning what it means to slow down, relax and what the word no means. I have lived such a busy lifestyle for so long that slowing down even a little is making such an impact. Last year we launched our church and every day was exciting and I wouldn’t change not even one second of the process and journey we have begun but I realized that at the end of the year I had missed so much. I missed the joy of hanging ornaments on a tree even though it was fully decorated. I missed the joy of cooking both thanksgiving and Christmas goodies even though it was done. I missed the joy of preparing cookies for Santa even though we did. From September through December I missed the beauty of simply living. I missed an entire month of thankfulness and an entire month of celebrating the birth of my Savior even though I participated in both. This past year my one word was BELIEVE and honestly I struggled with unbelief more than I ever have. It had nothing to do with Jesus and who He is but EVERYTHING about who I am in Him. I spent so much time doubting and questioning the things I knew without a doubt I was called to do. I allowed insecurities to choke my dream. When I would find myself in the midst of unbelief Jesus would ALWAYS end up shocking me. A few weeks ago I was asked to speak to our students and I of course said YES!! I began preparing and I also felt something stirring inside me. I was afraid to speak, I begged God to let me out of it and when the night arrived I had a panic attack. I remember my sweet friend praying with me before and her words seem to bounce off of my heart and I heard nothing, and felt nothing. I wanted off the stage and afterwards I hurried home. I remember laying in my bed literally crying myself to sleep and also begging God to change my dream. I didn’t want to pursue speaking to girls/women any longer if it meant going through that. Around 2am I woke up and heard God say “Holly I chose you”. I got up and for about 3 hours listened to my Creator speak to me. He said you asked for me to enlarge your territory and I am. I didn't understand. He overwhelmed me with His words of encouragement which is my spiritual gift. He poured over me with new vision, new excitement and new passion! I literally was in awe. The next morning I felt refreshed and renewed. That following Sunday we had a huge meeting to discuss all the details about our upcoming girl’s event and our student pastor told me I would be speaking at the high school we partner with. I immediately felt weak in my knees and began talking myself out of it. I was SCARED OUT OF MY MIND! I had just had a wonderful night with Jesus and I found myself in UNBELIEF all over again. As Thursday approached I could feel God stirring in me the newness that He had just filled me with. When the morning finally arrived I could feel the prayers of everyone surrounding me. I got text after text filled with such sweet encouragement and verses that warmed my heart. When I got to the school I had an incredible team of ladies that came to support me. I kept telling myself breathe and just don't puke! I didn't even have one ounce of a panic attack and as the microphone was handed to me I looked out at ALL those girls and my nerves vanished! I walked away with such a peace in my soul like I had never known. I believed Jesus for the first time (funny how it took entire year to happen). I am beyond excited for this weekend and because I have chosen to slow down I am enjoying each day leading up to our event. I am praying with a full heart for every area, every speaker, every volunteer and BELIEVING that life change is going to occur. This morning I came across this sweet verse and my heart literally skipped a beat. Psalm 138:8 The Lord will work out His plans for my life-for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me. What a beautiful reminder that He NEVER leaves me. He knew from the beginning of time I would struggle in this season of my life and yet He would also send constant reminders that He is sovereign and in complete control. So today I sit waiting with great expectation of what is to come. This weekend is our Pearls are for Girls event and hundreds of girls will come pouring in and I BELIEVE with all my heart that incredible things are going to happen. Also on a side note it’s Nov 6th and my entire house is decorated for Christmas… I am determined to enjoy the upcoming holiday season one day at a time!