THE EMBERS ARE HERE.

It’s September. I love all fridaynightfootballImonths ending in “ember” and “ober” (of course). Those months mean cool air, football, candles, good food, laughter, and holidays. I’m happy to have August behind me now because I’ve finally acclimated into this new semester. It’s crazy to be able to say ‘m a senior in college. As cliche as it may sound, I seriously never thought I’d be able to say that. There were days when I contemplated dropping out of college and days when I felt like it would take me way too long to graduate. I have 2 more semesters with an internship in between, but that’s okay by me. I’m glad the light at the end of the tunnel has started to shine…dimly.

The past few weeks have been a roller coaster. Between the typical stress of college and then with personal life details, I have felt so overwhelmed. God has been littleandmefaithful, as always, to provide me  with sweet friends and loving people to lift me up of course. I’ve struggled to fully feel appreciated and loved. That sounds crazy I know. Most people think that I have so many friends and am such a social butterfly, which is true. There are few, however, that I feel that I can actually let my hair down with and be vulnerable about what’s really in my head. I’m blessed though. I’m blessed for the handful of friends who have spiritually invested in me every day for years now. I’ve been actively working to praise the Lord for those people. I’ve been praising the Lord for the struggles because deep down (WAY deep down haha) I can see how it’s growing me and making me a stronger person at the core.

Growing pains are hard. When God grows us into who he wants us to be, sometimes that stretching is a terribly painful feeling especially when we don’t quite understand why He’s doing it the way He is. I am a testimony of that right now. Often times, I become way too wrapped up in my own problems thfallinstatesboroat I self centeredly forget to look at other people. I’m blinded by my own struggles. This past week, it’s almost like God grabbed my face and shook me saying “Avonlea, I have you. I..have.you. Look around you and open your eyes to see and hear that there are people who share your pain and who need to be reminded that I have them too.” I got on my knees and started praying for people around me, people I knew and people I didn’t. I asked the Lord if he would use me this week. Little did I know that He’d answer that prayer request so fast. I definitely was not fully prepared.

This past week-end, I had the opportunity to love on a complete stranger. A student here at school who was emotionally stressed. The details of this story, I really am not at liberty to share. The testimony, though, is worth being shared. It’s a long story, but basically the Lord allowed me to be a part of an encounter that only He could control. Loving on a complete stranger is sometimes difficult for me. This student shared his life with me and the pain he was dealing with. It opened my eyes back up to the reality of satan’s power in the world, but it also reminded me of God’s dominion and supremacy. I am completely humbled that I was able to share the love of Jesus with this guy. As vague as this story is right now, please pray for this student that he will know the love of Jesus and know that he is loved but the King of Kings.

I can hear the studio calling my name as I have many assignments due this week as I tackle my first restaurant design and continue learning about this profession of Interior Design. I’m excited and nervous, but I’m grateful to know that this where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing. That assurance comes from nowhere but Jesus. Great is HIS faithfulness.

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Designer In The Making- Internship With Laurie McRae Interiors


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This summer, I was blessed and beyond privileged to intern with Laurie McRae Interiors located on Central Avenue of Augusta, Georgia. I started my internship in the middle of May. Through out this summer, I have journaled at the end of every day I interned in an effort to reflect on everything I learned. A professor had advised me to write down what I was learning, and I’m so thankful that I did!

To start off, Laurie McRae is one of those very rare talented people who is a “Jack of all trades”, however, she is definitely a master of them all! From designing kitchen and baths, designing beautiful cabinetry, holding the role of President of NCIDQ, running estate stales often, and so much more,  nothing seems to be too difficult for this energized designer.

Over the course of my internship, Mrs. Laurie took me to several job sites to watch the before and after processes, she taught me a lot about how to participate in estate sales, and she introduced me to many resources including other designers. While I learned so much about design itself, I also learned some even deeper skills that are crucial to becoming a successful interior designer. Mrs. Laurie taught me something that you can’t really learn in school from textbooks. She taught me a lot about how to handle clients in various situations. I payed close attention all summer to how she responded to clients who were difficult to work with, who treated her poorly, or who even praised her for her work. Maintaining class and a good attitude at all times is definitely something I admired and came away thinking about for my own personal improvement.

If I had to talk about my favorite experiences from this internship, I would have to say meeting different clients and learning how so many people love so many different styles of design. I also thoroughly loved learning about how estate sales are prepared for and operated. I’ve decided to pursue more education in appraising and potentially becoming a licensed appraiser. After participating in my first estate sale, Mrs. Laurie surprised me and gave me a piece of furniture from the sale that she saw me eying throughout that week-end. I was not only so incredibly grateful for the dresser, but I was so overcome by the kindness she showed me then and constantly throughout the summer. 11391274_10206504224901883_490049615663420398_n

It is almost impossible to put into words everything I learned. I fear I am not even representing this opportunity well enough in this blog post, but all I can say now is that I have never been more inspired and encouraged about my career than I am now. This opportunity was one I’ll never forget and I am thrilled to see where I will be in just a few short years.

Thank you so much, Mrs. Laurie McRae for investing in me and allowing me to learn from you. Thank you for seeing potential in me. I can’t wait to tell you all about what I’m doing in the future.

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Mini Update

It’s been a while since I’ve updated where I’m at in school and life in general. So, for starters, I changed my major about a  year and half ago from Fashion Merchandising to Interior Design. I am SO thankful that I changed majors. I’m now studying what I love and I am so excited to share with you where this journey has already taken me.

The design program at Georgia Southern University is a 5 studio program, and you take one studio per semester. I am about to start my third studio semester which means I finally am a senior. (Such a great feeling!) Towards the middle of last semester, I began thinking about ways to make the best use of my time during the summer. I started praying and I really felt that it would be wise for me to go ahead and move back home to Appling for the summer, take 3 online classes, and try and pursue some type of internship or job shadowing opportunity. I was not sure at first how to find an internship or job shadowing opportunity except to do what everyone in my generation does, and that is GOOGLE! I literally Googled “top interior designers in Augusta, GA” and in 0.40 seconds, Google had a list. As silly as it was, I went ahead and wrote down the top five hits. In that list, I saw Laurie McRae Interiors.

I was sitting in my Interior Materials class, and as my professor was giving a lecture on floor finishes, I quickly sent an e-mail to Laurie McRae asking for some information about potentially interning with her for the summer. I had read all about her credentials the night before, and I just couldn’t seem to pay attention to my non enthusiastic professor at 8am so I figured “what better time to email her than now?”. Within about 2 weeks, I had an interview set up to take place over spring break! I was so excited. Spring break came, and I met Mrs. Laurie at her office on the beautiful Central Avenue in Augusta. We spent about 20 minutes talking and at the end of our talk she said “I’ll e-mail you soon about when you can start and we’ll work out how many days a week you’ll work.” I was bright eyed and so excited. Little did I know that this internship was going to be an experience of a lifetime.

I Must Confess

I have not done a very good job of posting as often as I had hoped. I think it would be ridiculous for me to cling to the excuse that I’ve just been busy. While that is a factor, it isn’t truly my reason for not blogging. Last summer when I began blogging, I was at a hard place in my life spiritually and I thought that blogging would be a good way to share what I’m learning and how I’m growing. However, I learned quickly that by blogging and writing about my life and the lessons it entails, I would find myself probably just venting or writing unnecessary things. With that said, I’m starting over and I’m going to hopefully share a thought, a story, or an experience every now and then.

What is Sin?

“What is sin? It is the glory of God not honored. The holiness of God not reverenced. The greatness of God not admired. The power of God not praised. The truth of God not sought. The wisdom of God not esteemed. The beauty of God not treasured. The goodness of God not savored. The faithfulness of God not trusted. The commandments of God not obeyed. The justice of God not respected. The wrath of God not feared. The grace of God not cherished. The presence of God not prized. The person of God not loved. That is sin.”

-John Piper

Breakfast Ring

Some people don’t think I know how to cook, and that is merely because they’re never around me when I’m in the mood to actually cook something. This morning, however, I was in a cooking mood. I made a breakfast ring. It’s super yummy, but probably not super healthy. 😉 Below you will find the recipe that I use. It’s a great breakfast for me because I can eat off of it for a few days for breakfasts. Enjoy!

 Breakfast

Necessary Ingredients:

Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

Turkey Bacon

Shredded Cheese

Eggs

Salt 

Pepper

Garlic

Optional Ingredients:

Chopped green peppers

Chopped onion

Hot sauce 

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. Cook 8 pieces of bacon. Set aside. Scramble the eggs with salt, pepper, garlic mixed in. Set aside. If you’re using the green peppers, I like to sauté them a little bit. I also like to sauté the onions as well. Once you everything cooked, you’ll unroll your crescent rolls, and separate them into their individual triangles. You will then make a flower shape, by placing the crescent doughs in a circle with the wide ends facing inward and the points facing out. Next, you will place a bacon strip on top of each crescent dough. Then, you place a little bit of each of the other ingredients on top: cheese, scrambled eggs, finely chopped green peppers, and onions. You can put the hot sauce on if you’re wanting a little kick. Next, you will just roll the dough up like normal, with the breakfast food stuffing inside. It should form a ring after all the doughs are rolled up tightly. You will then just bake it for 17 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy! 🙂 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to Box and Burn Selfishness

I am selfish. I tend to put my situations in a box. I fixate on them. I let them grow into diseases and eventually they explode out of the box and start infecting everything. Just about all of the time I don’t automatically assume “My situations can bring God glory”. That, my friend, is because I forget to trust Jehovah. What I don’t understand is, why do I forget to trust the LORD? To trust the most powerful Being?! The One who created me and calls me “fearfully and wonderfully made”?! It’s all because I am selfish. The definition of “selfish” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “being concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself :  seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others.” I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve got to stop boxing up my situations and just give them to Elohim. I need to box up my selfishness and pride and beg God to burn it. My prayer today is that we will walk in with Him, and not just by Him. Elohim is not just someone we pass in the hall at school or in the aisle at Publix. He is the God of gods. I want to walk with him. I want to “trust in the name of the Lord and rely on God” (Isaiah 50:10)

“For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.”

~Deuteronomy 10:17~

“For FROM him and THROUGH him and FOR him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen”

~Romans 11:36~