Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mission Panama

Two weeks ago a group from our church 
embarked on a mission to the city of David, Panama. 
One of the sweetest families in our church, originally from Panama, has been praying for the Lord to open a door for us to go to their beautiful homeland to help in the work God is doing.
After many years of prayer, our church received an invitation to help take part in many ministries that the church desired to do.
 The door was open + we were willing to go!
When I first heard about the trip, I was automatically super-stoked. I knew this was something the Lord wanted Felix + I to do, but then something hit me like a rock.
February 17-25. 
"ohhhh man" was my automatic thought when I read the bolded words on the trip flyer. 
"I am not going to be able to go because of school."
Within moments, my kind of sad, frustrated self was sitting on the church pew thinking of how much I wanted to go. The next moment, I asked God to forgive me of my pessimistic attitude & immediately thought of the ever so wonderful quote,
"God's will, done God's way, never lacks God's support."

I knew without a doubt that if God wanted me + my husband to go, he would give me the support of my teachers and boss. I knew no matter what would happen, go or not go, I would be content in where I was. 
A few weeks had gone by, and I finally felt led to send all of my professors for the spring semester an email telling them about the trip to see if I would be able to take the time off to go. Tests, projects, and papers are a big deal so I knew I couldn't miss any...
Within days all of my professors emailed me back saying that we were more than welcome to go, we could make up whatever we would miss, and my boss let me have the time off as well!
God completely provided the support + we booked our tickets that week!

When we our plane landed on the beautiful land of Panama, we had the great privilege of touring the city before we started our work the next day. The country is absolutely beautiful and filled with gorgeous people. We toured the Panama Canal, the antique part of downtown, and went and saw the city from one of the highest points in the city. As my sister and I were the only Spanish speakers at this point on the trip, we were able to use our Spanish to guide our group around the city, order meals, and talk to people about what we were doing there for the Lord. It was an absolutely beautiful time and completely blessed by the Lord.

(panama city)

The next day, we joined up with the rest of our group, and the 30+ of us hopped on a 6 hour bus to the city David of Chiriqui, Panama.
Although our trip had many aspects: Kids' VBS, church construction, medical clinics, evangelism and services, I was privileged to help lead the VBS with my sister. The Lord completely blessed it + many kids were saved. 

We started off the week by sharing the story of creation + how God made us in His image. An abolutely wonderful fact to know: we are made in His image because He wants to have a relationship with us. 
The second day, we shared the greatest thing anyone could hear: THE SIMPLE GOSPEL. it was a beautiful message shared by my sister and kids were touched.
The third day, we shared about how God loves you and wants to use you abundantly wherever he has placed you. We made gospel bracelets, which have 5 colors that tells the gospel story. I never take mine off and many people ask what it means. With a simple question, I am able to share the whole gospel of Christ. All the kids were able to make these bracelets and understand the significance in order to go tell their families and friends about the grace + love of Jesus.  When we ended our VBS for the day, we took some of the kids with us on the streets surrounding the church, passed out tracts, talked to people about Jesus, and invited them to the night's service. It was amazing to see the fruit of the kids as they ran down the dirt roads of Panama to tell others about Jesus Christ. When you see that, you know for a fact that everything was worth it. It was a beautiful sight.
We appreciate your prayers on the trip. Around 15 kids gave their lives to Jesus and you could see such a change in the lives + hearts of those we were able to minister to.
They learned songs about God's love and performed one of them in the church service, they made crafts to help them remember what we learned, and of course we played games and took time to fellowship with the kids.  We pray more than anything that in everything we did and do, that the love of Christ shows through us. God was glorified through the VBS and we are so grateful for your support. 
Last, but certainly not least, at the end of our VBS we were able to group all of the kids together in their families and present each one of them with a Bible. This was the most beautiful thing to be a part of. To hand a young child + a family the greatest book, the words of God, is the most amazing thing and it could only have been provided through your support. I cannot stress enough how amazing the body of Christ is. With your gift, families who did not have a Bible to read will now be able to read the words of our Savior. 

 (praying for salvation!)

 (teaching the kids songs)
(every family received a Bible to take home!)

(construction site)
(Felix preaching in a nightly service) 

As I mentioned before, this is only one SMALL part of what God did and is doing in Panama. God saved so many people on the streets, in their homes, and in the services. People were filled with the Holy Spirit. Our group of men was able to help construct 4 Sunday school rooms for the church, and people were helped through the medical clinics. I was also able to help translate + preach in Spanish and am super thankful that God gave me that ability. 

On behalf of Felix + I, my church, and the body of Christ, we thank you for your prayers and financial support. God's kingdom IS being built on this earth and we are excited to be a part of His work. God bless! Until July, we will be on American soil!

Dios le bendiga, 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

12 Months of Dates: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

This past Christmas was super hectic due to the wedding and all the planning that went along with it. Because Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday, I didn't want to “skip it” because I had to think about so much wedding stuff, so to ensure that that truly wouldn't happen, I was determined to come up with a fabulous present for my future husband. I thought, thought, and thought so more, but I didn't know what to get him that would be super cute, on the cheaper side (because we are trying to save), and something he would really like. At one point, I was so at a loss of things to think of, that I even considered buying him a piece of workout equipment he really wanted.

 Hilariously enough, when I went to buy it on Amazon later that week, it said that he had already purchased it! Haha. I was kind of relieved because I wanted to get him something different, but kind of worried at the same time because I knew he would like that and was now fresh out of ideas.
After a few days, I remembered a blog post I had read quite some time ago about how a girl planned out a date for each month of the year for her husband’s Christmas present a few years back. I immediately got excited, and thought that it would be a great idea if I could do something similar for Felix, but of course, add my own flair! ;) I began to think of what Felix likes to do and what would be fun for us as a freshly married couple. Within minutes, I was as excited as a fat kid is when he eats ice-cream! 

So, I got to work….
I had to come up with 12 different dates for each calendar month, so that was really fun, but challenging at the same time, because although I wish all dates could be super luxurious, our budget would not allow it. So, I had to creatively think of ways to have fun, but surprisingly enough, it turned out really easy! You can do so many fun things WITHOUT money or for a low cost! You just have to be creative! Now that I figured out which things were cheaper and which I wanted to splurge on, I began to see with my designer eyes. I didn’t want each date to just be on a white sheet of paper…These needed to be cute! So, my designer mind, some glue, scissors, and scrapbook material went at it. 5 hours later, I finally finished my date packages. I have never been more excited to give a gift to Felix…

As of course Felix doesn't know what all of the dates will be yet
 (because he has to open them the 1st of every month), I can only give you the inside scoop after we complete each date!When Felix opened the gift, he was excited about what was to come, but now that he has opened some, he is so much more excited! 
Here is the first one I gave him to open on Christmas morning…

This dating adventure is sure to be a blast, and I will reveal them to yall once we complete each one! I am so excited about each date, the memories we will make, and the quality time we will spend together.
  Marriage is all about constant growth, and I know with each day, I am falling, and will fall more in love with Felix.

With love 

"Love is such a thing that can turn an ordinary life into a fairy tale."

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Most Fabulous Winter Break

Well, you might be thinking, “wow, she hasn’t written a blog post in about 2 months...” Yeah, yeah, I know. Although it is a great desire to keep you all updated on my life, these last couple of months have been super crazy! However, over the last months, I have had the time of my life.

 When the final question was answered on my last exam last semester, I strutted out of that room, danced a little bit in the quad (my inner crazy came out) and screamed, “I’M DONE!” Not only was this a simple little shout…this was my proclamation to the world that I was done my last semester of being a single lady, last semester of being absolutely busy to the point of only getting 4 and 5 hours of sleep every night, and last semester of super fun, but HECTIC, wedding planning. To say the least, I leaped for joy and immediately kicked up the notch on my wedding planner side to FULL SPEED.

            “Dress alterations. How many bunches of flowers in each vase? Ribbons around jars. Where is the cake going to be served? How many people have RSVPed? Felix looks cute today! Gotta run to work! Wait, what did you say mom? Gotta write thank you cards. Time is ticking. Gotta write chalkboard signs. Need to have some family time before I fly away from the nest! Ahhh, I’m getting married!”  These were but few of the things I had running and racing through my head during the month of December. Not to mention, I kinda “skipped” Christmas this year, as far as buying presents for my friends, because I was so busy thinking about the wedding. To sum it all up, it was the busiest, but most exciting month of my entire life and I would never change anything about it.
Around a week before the wedding, I patiently awaited December 28th. Not only would I be getting off work for 2 weeks after my shift that day, but I would also come home to get ready for our Rehearsal dinner and see my best friends from Wyoming and North Carolina. Once they arrived, the festivities began and the rehearsal flew by in the blink of an eye.

The day before the wedding arrived + we all woke up early to head off to the reception center to decorate for the next day’s festivities. This is the part where I begin to truly thank the Lord for how good He is to us, because without all of my church family coming to help us set up, we wouldn’t have had the beautiful wedding I will remember for the rest of my life. Countless people came to help set up, serve, and love on us and for that we will be forever thankful! You know who you are…THANK YOU!! With that said, if you plan on doing a DIY wedding, as I did, make sure you have a wonderful wedding army!  With the day coming to a close, I looked back on our beautiful reception site, kissed my wonderful FIANCE goodbye, and awaited the big day.

With the craziness of our previous day, we all slept on the wedding morning, only to be a little late to our own hair + makeup appointment due to my running around and trying to grab everything needed. Hair + makeup done by the wonderful Emily Wilson, Hannah Chenevert, and Brittany Devall turned out absolutely gorgeous and we couldn’t have been happier with the end results!

This was to me one of my favorite times of the day. Getting quality time with all of my bridesmaids was wonderful and I was not nervous AT ALL. God completely gave me His peace that passes all understanding and I could not wait to walk down that aisle to my best friend + the love of my life.

Once we were all pampered and ready to go, we snapped a few pictures (done by the fabulous Brooke Noland!) and I awaited to go and talk to Felix and hold his hand before the ceremony. We met around a corner so that we would not see each other (sticking to tradition), we held hands, and he began to pray. My heart was flooded with blessings and God reminded me of all the times that he was faithful to me. Faithful to bring Felix into my life. Faithful to bring us through everything we have been through. Faithful to bring us back together in a stronger bond of love the second time. Faithful to keep us under his will. FAITHFUL.

As I walked down the aisle, my dad crying to my right, I found my smile to be bigger than ever before +  found tears of joy running down my cheek as I looked at the one whom my soul LOVES. I kept my eyes on Felix all the while surrounded by all the faces that have influenced us in our life. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful + reflected just what Felix and I love most…Jesus. Through the ceremony, one could see that Jesus alone is what is good in us and that we desire more than anything to glorify Him in our marriage.

I thank you all for the prayers, support in our relationship, and wonderful friendship that we have with you all. God has blessed us abundantly, the wedding was absolutely wonderful, the reception was a BLAST (we had fun dancing with you all), our honeymoon cruise to Mexico, Belize, and Honduras was FABULOUS, and married life is great. I love being with my best friend at all times + cooking everyday + running off to class and work and being able to kiss Felix and say “see you tonight” + most of all…I love saying “goodnight” instead of “goodbye.” Marriage is a blessing from God. Again, thanks for listening to my wonderful winter break story!
Here are some more pics from the wedding for your enjoyment!

I cannot wait until the professional ones come out! 

Now I get to blog about my adventures as a busy + young newlywed! Eeeeeep!

Mrs.  Burch

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Taming the Tongue

Some of the most beautiful sounds
are hearing people praise our Lord with song, hear them preach the word of truth, and hear the body encourage one another.

Some of the most horrible things to hear are comments that hurt the greatest of feelings, snarls that stab someone in the back, and rude remarks to a family member or friend. 

The sad thing is...they both come through the same area of the body >>> the tongue.

Throughout my years I have always been known as the really LOUD girl who talks to much. It's okay if you just nodded and said yes to the previous sentence, because we all know it's true. However, as the years have gone by, God has shown me so much and has worked on my heart and mouth in order that I say more that glorifies Him and shows less of my nasty nature. Thank God, that's all Him and nothing of me. This is definitely an area of struggle for many of us, and especially for me. My personality is very open and I say what I think...Most of the times, I don't reciprocate that phrase and think about what I say. God has showed me so much about myself and my wicked heart, and through that, the things that come out of my mouth are far greater than they used to be. I used to spit nasty remarks to strangers and friends, say I was joking about it, then move on. Or remember that time when I snapped at my mom for waking me up too early? Oh wait, that was this morning!
See how easy it is to allow Satan to come in and use your tongue for the greatest works of evil? With my nasty remark I made to my mom this morning, I felt horrible after. As I read my Bible and prayed, God opened my eyes to some things. I am currently reading in James and Psalms and the scriptures went hand-in-hand with what I dealt with this morning. Don't you love how God does that? :)

James 3 talks about taming the tongue:
" 3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

When I read this, I was CUT to the heart. I asked my mother and father for forgiveness and God showed me so much. 

The devil wants to to use your tongue for the following: 
1. To hurt others
2. To lift yourself up- "bring on the pride"
3. To sing praises to him (this is will come if we follow this world)

God wants to use your tongue for these reasons:
1. To encourage & love others
2. To lift His name up
3. To sing praises to Him (when we are having a good day & a bad day)
4. To PREACH his great Name and
 make Him known throughout this earth!

The TONGUE was made by God and God desires that it is used for HIS glory! The tongue can be used for so much good but also for so much bad. I pray that today we would desire to keep our tongues and words to the utmost of God's glory. Through the Holy Spirit we are able to kill the inner man and let the mind of Christ rule in our bodies. With this, our tongues will always praise Jesus.
I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman and let this scripture be lived out in my life! Woman or man, Lord let this 
be our prayer:

"She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness."
Proverbs 31:26

I love yall very much!
God bless,

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Today I Saw Him Walk

Today I saw him walk....
This morning I woke up at a really ungodly hour (4:20am) to drive to see my wonderful fiance graduate from college. It seems like yesterday I was running around in my high school basketball gym, looking over my shoulder to see if my new crush was looking at me...Surely enough he was. :) A few weeks later we started dating at the ages of 18 and 15, not knowing what we were doing or where this relationship would take us. This morning as I reminisced on these past times of mine, I saw the man that Felix has become over those 5 years. God has grown him in so many ways and it is amazing to know that God has completely planned out every single part of his life up to this point. I am so proud. 
Sadly I admit that it was REALLY hard to get up this morning, as I had to force myself off of our living room couch while my alarm buzzed in my ear. Because I had work until 1:30am last night I had gotten home late. Not to mention one of my great friends came over and we studied French for a while then caught up on life. Needless to say, we got about an hour of sleep (literally) then were on our way to Ruston to see Felix walk. 
We packed the car and headed off on our 4 hour journey, exhausted, and with loads of coffee. Hilariously enough, my mom's prediction of our car ride came true. We jammed to Christmas music & our future wedding playlist for about an hour and then...We were OUT COLD. I threw my body on top of my friend's in the back seat and we both fell asleep. It was a good ride up with some great laughs.
As we all know, graduation ceremonies are probably the most boring things ever (after horrible PowerPoint presentations). The whole ceremony I couldn't help but look down at my future husband, sitting in his chair, thinking of how proud I was. I zoned in an out of the ceremony, but I thought of how wonderful of a man the Lord has made him in to be and how much he has accomplished in his life thus far. 

The Lord has used him in so many ways around his campus, in the lives of his roommates and friends, and all throughout our church and friends in our hometown. This man has had such a wonderful influence on so many and I couldn't be more proud of him. When they called his name and he walked up to the platform to receive his diploma, we shouted and hollered his name with great pride, and from a far distance I could see a smile on his face. 
So, without further a due, I now introduce to you, my wonderful Fiance...The graduate.

(isn't he cute?)

Here is the most beautiful part of the story: on our way home from Tech, Felix and I were listening to some worship music when he said, "Bek, let's pray! I'll go and pray and thank God for something, then you pray, then i'll pray, and so on." We started to pray and went back & forth thanking God for so many wonderful things and people in our life...Funnily enough, my tired body gave out after a round or two, and I began to dose off while he continued the most beautiful, passionate prayer. Falling asleep to your future husband talking to God is seriously one of the most calming things ever. I cannot wait to marry this man.

He is already the best personal trainer and is going to be rockin' the business soon. He moves into our new home this week and starts his job next week! I am so happy for him and cannot wait to start our lives together. This brings us one step closer! 45 days until the wedding bells ring. I am so pumped!

I love you, Felix.
I am so proud of you!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sister, Sister

It's been a crazy few weeks,
which has resulted in a lack of blog posts and lots of missed sleep. This morning, I got to wake up late, go to class, and now I have a break to do some homework and write before my next class. So, how do I spend it? Listening to Michael Buble's Christmas album and writing about my favorite sister. This week, God has shown me so many things here and there. Although I absolutely LOVE fashion and being creative through my wardrobe, I believe God is pulling  me back to the true roots of why I started this blog in the first place: HIM. Someone was joking with me the other day when they said, "You take so many selfies for your blog." As I agreed and laughed it off, the next thing that came was super convicting....I realized it was true. Please do not take this is in any offensive way, cause this was something God showed me personally. Blogging about fashion rocks and in no way am I downing those of us who do it... I love taking pictures of my outfits to share with you all, and I will continue to do so, but I desire to write more and more about my Savior, what He has given me, and other things other than my day-to-day fashion. So, without further a due, I am dedicating this soon to be sappy post to my beloved sister, Rachel. She is one of the greatest gifts God has blessed me with and I could not imagine my life without her. I took these pictures about 2 weeks ago because I loved her festive LSU outfit that she wore to school. Although her outfit is a cute one, let me tell you a little but about HER.

rae rae 1
rae 3

If you were a 90's kids, you grew up watching (or at least knew about) the show SISTER, SISTER which featured the Mowry sisters. They were twins and everything about them was the same, except for a few things...If you look at our lives, you could easily say the same thing.. Here is why:
We are both studying Spanish with a minor in linguistics.
We both love to travel.
We both have a heart for missions.
We both sing (in choir and everywhere else) together.
We are both managers at Canes.
We play the same sports.
We are both adventurous and love roller coasters, heights, and the deep blue sea.
Bascially, we are the same person.
 When someone mentioned that to me the other day, I had to sit back and think about some things that we actually did NOT have in common. Although it was pretty hard, this is what I came up with:
Rachel is obssessed with Nutella. I would rather a spoonful of Biscoff.
Rachel likes action movies. I like chick-flicks.
If she could listen to any christian genre, it would be gospel. Mine would be rock.
Rachel is classy. I like to classify myself under the "hipster" umbrella.
Rachel is right handed. I'm left-handed.
Rachel is good at English. I'm good at math & science.
Rachel hates technology. I LOVE it.
Rachel has brown hair. I have blonde hair.
Brown eyes vs. blue eyes.
Rachel takes time to think through her actions/words. I blurt mine out. (that's a bad thing haha.)
Rachel is sweet and soft-spoken. I tell you how it is.

So, there you have it. The same person with different personalities!
Funny things aside, Rachel is the most wonderful sister for so many reasons. When I did not know the Lord truly and personally, I hated my family, especially my sister. In public, it seemed as everything was alright, but I was so jealous of her all the time. I used to curse her and my parents, rebel against them, and want to be the farthest away from them as I could be...However, Rachel was always there to love me and pray for me. Even though I did not love her as I ought have, she interceded for her rebellious little sister. I am so thankful she prayed for me in my roughest of times, and she still does today. When I truly gave my heart back to the Lord when I was 14, God showed me the wonderful sister and family I had and the LOVE they had shown me through my hard times. No one loved me as much as God did, and he gave me my family to love me and take care of me. He gave me my sister, whom I love very much.
Rachel encourages me daily to become a greater woman of God and I hope to have a heart for the Lord like she does. She loves the word of God and treats those around her with such love and compassion, just like Jesus would. She is a tremendous blessing.
Today, I am so privileged to have traveled on so many missions trips with her, teach vacation bible school with her, perform in plays with her, catch her whizzing softball as it came from the outfield to my position at homeplate, witness on the streets with her, shoot hoops with her, chill in our hammocks together, and most importantly, strive to follow Jesus together.
She is the greatest sister and I could not have asked for a better person to do life with me the last 20 years.

 In the Amazon Jungle

This one's to you, Sis.
I love you so much. Thank you for always pointing me to Jesus.

Who has influenced your life? Why?