Sunday, May 31, 2009

They are still there...

It's Sunday and I will bet you anything that it's a beautiful, glorious day in the mountains.

Psalm 100

A psalm. For giving thanks.
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.

3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Road to Frontier, 2009-Day One

Today is the big day! As Columbus Young Life gets on the bus for the loooooonnnnngggg ride to Buena Vista, Colorado, I ask that you would join me in praying for leaders and kids alike.

Pray for kids, that God would draw close to them and speak to their hearts. As they experience His awesome creation in the beautiful mountains of Colorado, pray that they would see God reveal his awesome glory to them.

Pray for leaders, that rest would come to them in the few short hours they will get each night. That God will use their words and make them His. Pray that their time with these high schoolers will be fruitful and glorifying to our Maker. Pray for them as they draw closer to God and please pray that they will return refreshed and on fire for Jesus.

Pray for the bus drivers and traveling mercies. Pray for the program guys as they perform and draw the kids in with their music, skits, and games. Pray for the work crew as they serve in the name of our Father and set an example of service to every kid on the trip.

Thank you so much!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

This week I learned...

  1. My faith is weak, but He is strong.
  2. Jobs come and go, but bills are forever.
  3. Rainy days are fabulous...even at the river.
  4. Just because Mom bought Caroline a $9, er...$90, piece of luggage, does not mean that she loves her more. Obviously.
  5. 30 is more than 10. Yessssss.
  6. Running the dish washer is a good thing to do and a pretty good air sanitizer.
  7. I procrastinate like nobodies business.
  8. I would trade HBO for TCM any day of the week.
  9. Respect must be earned.
  10. Cash is a handy item.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I know God is Good

Today I know that God is good because:

  1. All things work out for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
  2. I got a position at Windy Gap, my first choice for Young Life summer staff.
  3. It rained today.
  4. I had Chick-fil-A for lunch.
  5. I spent time with good friends.
  6. I have peace like a river.
  7. I spent time at the river.
  8. I have friends like Goose and Banks.
  9. My sister loves me.
  10. The West Wing came on at least once today.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Road to Frontier-2009

Does it get much better than this??? Forecast: Buena Vista, Colorado

Mostly Cloudy
A thunderstorm possible
Low: 36 °F
High: 66 °F

Mostly Cloudy
Clouds limiting sun
Low: 35 °F
High: 71 °F

Cooler with rain
Low: 31 °F
High: 61 °F

Intermittent Clouds
A blend of sun and clouds
Low: 37 °F
High: 66 °F

Partly Sunny
Partly sunny
Low: 38 °F
High: 70 °F

Intermittent Clouds
A morning shower
Low: 37 °F
High: 69 °F

Overcast with thunderstorms
Low: 37 °F
High: 65 °F

Low: 38 °F
High: 67 °F

Mostly Cloudy
Rather cloudy with a shower
Low: 38 °F
High: 70 °F

Friday, May 22, 2009

It's that time of year again...

High schools and colleges all over the country are graduating their senior classes and Columbus, Georgia is no different. Already I have been to two graduations, one last Sunday night and one this very evening.

Tonight's honored the students at Columbus High School, a magnet school with some of the brightest students in the state. I know several of the graduates, one of them being very special to me, Ciara Pauke.

I have known Ciara for almost two years now. Although she is a student at Columbus High, she is a regular at Shaw High's Young Life club. Ciara is one of the sweetest, funniest, brightest people I know. She has a heart for others, but more importantly, she has a heart for the Lord. Campaigners (our Young Life bible study) is richer with her presence. Her quiet words of wisdom, her smile and infectious laugh, her sincere and genuine loyalty to those whom she counts as friends all make Ciara stand out in a crowd.

As I watched her walk on to the stage at the Civic Center, I was reminded of a day much like this one in May of 2006 when I sat in that same auditorium with Ben and watched as Anna Beck and many of our friends walked across that same stage. My own graduation had occurred mere hours before and I was officially a college freshmen.

As the ceremony ended and I met Ciara outside, I couldn't help but cry a bit as I walked back to my car. Gone are the Monday nights at the trailer before Young Life. Gone are our Thursday night bible studies. Gone are the prom nights and text messages letting me know they are safely home from a night of dancing and fun. This chapter is over, but an exciting new one is at hand. There will be new nights of fun, new reasons for pictures, and definitely text messages warning them to be safe as they hang out with friends.

Tomorrow morning, Ciara and I will meet back at the Civic Center to watch as Mandy Mussatti (a young woman who easily fits the above description of Ciara), Logan Bourne and others graduate from Shaw High School. More Young Life friends who are moving on to bigger and better things. My prayer for them is that they would "Trust in the Lord with all their hearts and lean not on their own understanding. Acknowledge God in all their ways and He will direct their paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Congrats to the class of 2009!

Dear Mac

You graduated this past week and now you are sailing through the Bahamas. La te da. Life is good.

You are like my little sister and I love you so much (even though, like Sarah Ann, you don't say it back). I admire your humour, your eye for photography, your technical theater knowledge, your ability to think logically in every situation. You are beautiful, sweet, even tempered, a hard worker, dedicated, and loyal.

It makes no difference whether you go to Yale, Boulder, UGA, or Columbus State. I don't care if you major in Art, Theater, or Chemical Engineering. I just want you to be happy doing whatever it is that life throws your way. Whether living in a downtown loft or the barn apartment, the next few years are going to be amazing. You aren't going to love every minute and sometimes it might feel like you never left high school, but this next chapter is so important and you are going to thrive! I just know it.

As you study the stuff that makes you happy, just remember that whatever happens, my offer still stands if you want to come with me and be a National Geographic photographer. I'll do all the talking. All you have to do is grunt and sign for more bread and water. Who needs ambition when they have an offer like that from Theresa Garcia?

I've got your back.

Love always,

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dreaming in Tetris

Ever played Tetris? No? Click here to see what I am talking about.

Ok, so now that you know what it is, here is my point/story. I play tetris all the time. It's on my cell phone and whenever I get bored or I can't sleep, I play tetris. For the past two weeks, I have dreamed in tetris. Weird, I know. When my mind wonders during the day, it wonders through the strategies of tetris and puts the puzzle together. I see all the colors of the different blocks and in my mind I am putting them all together.

Think I play too much?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Goals and Resolutions

Goals are good things to have and can be helpful. I resolve to wear make up once a week. I resolve to spend more time in the word. I resolve to keep my room clean. (Ok...I admit that one might be a stretch, but it's worth a shot.)

One goal that I have is to memorize more scripture. My goal for this week is Ephesians 3:14-21. This was read at Kimble and Matt's wedding and I absolutely loved it.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This week I learned...

  1. 280 from Columbus to Birmingham is a boring, but beautiful drive...mostly.
  2. Graduations are much more interesting when you are deeply involved in a participant's life.
  3. Change is inevitable although it can come in the most unlikely forms.
  4. Beauty comes from within.
  5. I missed this post last week and it has all I have thought about for the past seven days.
  6. I am a procrastinator.
  7. Comfort has begun to out weigh the need for fashion and I need to work on comfy fashion.
  8. Impatience and Discontentment go hand in hand.
  9. Normal is a relevant term.
  10. Weddings are bitter-sweet when you are a single, dateless, discontent, impatient twenty-one year old.

Monday, May 18, 2009

On blooming where planted.

I am not a patient person by any means. I would rather buy plants that have already bloomed and arrange them prettily in front of my house than plant the seeds and wait for them to grow. I would rather go into Chick-fil-a and place my order than go through the drive through and have to sit in line even though it will probably end up taking the same amount of time. I'll do anything to make myself feel like I am actually DOING something when I become anxious about a situation. I make lists and phone calls. I write blogs and I analyze every possible scenario. I get the opinions of far too many people. I think about it until I cannot think about it anymore. All of this is a show of my lack of a virtue called patience.

I have found that with impatience comes discontentment. I hate seeing these two words written out. There is something about the "im" in front of patience and the "dis" in front of contentment that makes me cringe. But I digress. With impatience comes discontentment. And I find myself in a seemingly constant state of both. College is a fine example of that. I have changed my major six times. Music and Theater, Theater, English, History, Political Science, and then Journalism and Photography. And the thoughts of what I will do with all of these change from day to day. I'll do theater! I'll be a politician! I'll be a lawyer! I'll run for office! I'll be a college professor! I'll be a journalist, a photographer, a pre-K teacher, a missionary, a Young Life staffer. You name it, I want to be it. Aside from a fire-fighter, a ballet dancer, and a stripper, I have probably aspired to pretty much everything.

I am a planner to a fault. I like to know what I am doing every moment of every day. I schedule to a tee and often to the detriment of my poor sleep deprived body and the disappointment of friends and family. I like to think of myself as a fly-by-the-seat-of-pants kinda girl, but alas, that is only a dream. Often, I find that it doesn't really matter what the plan is as long as I have a plan. One plan keeps me going until the next one comes along.

My latest string of plans have been about as wide spread as you can imagine. I applied to the University of Texas in Austin for admission (for which I was denied), applied to Mission to the World for a year long mission trip to Peru (on which I am currently waiting for the process to pick up a little speed...great...waiting), and am currently in the process of working on a back up plan for the possible failure of my world traveling adventure. This plan involves moving into a cheaper housing situation (possibly known as my parent's home), getting a job, and going to school full time (by full time, I mean as many hours as possible). There is a lot that goes into all of this and a lot of decisions that need to be made pronto. Again, the patience thing (or lack thereof) is getting in the way.

However, I feel God working in me as I go through this unsettling time. While my life is full of uncertainty as far as my earthly plans go, I find that my certainty and faith in my heavenly Father only grows. He is constantly removing parts of my life that have no business being there and replacing them with moments, people, and situations that can only come from Him. When it seems like there can be no reason for various situations that arise, He gently reminds me that I am His and He is mine. His plan is in action and His promises are good. I can call on Him day and night. He never sleeps. He longs for me to call out to Him in the darkness.

"Hey God. You there? Because I am."

I am a refuge in times of trouble. I care for those who trust in me.

"Yeah, I know that."

Do you, Theresa? Are you really trusting in me?


You do not have because you have not asked me.

"Help me in my unbelief."

For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you, and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.

It is so easy to write this down. To pretend like I have all the answers. Please hear me when I say that I do not have all the answers. I worry and panic. I stress out. I don't always ask. However, I know that when I do ask, He willing gives it to me. As I lay in bed last night with the beginnings of what I knew was panic, I cried out to Him for a peace that passes all understanding and He gave it to me. As I worry about my apartment, money, summer and fall plans, boys, jobs, and a host of other things that feel so important, God is gracious. From weekends in Birmingham, to conversations with James Rockwell, car rides with Craig, the sweet-sometimes silent- company of my sisters, loss of jobs, awesome sermons, dinners with Banks, financial uncertainty, the sound of baby chatter, trips to Frontier, time with Young Life kids and leaders, car trouble, the silly laughter of little girls, and sleepless nights, God is gracious. Through the good and the bad, the ups and the downs, His mercy endures forever. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I will praise Him for He is worthy of praise. He does grant me peace. I know that His plan is there and I am trusting, though not perfectly, in Him.

I don't have patience and contentment because I haven't asked for them. I struggle on blooming where I am planted because I am so concerned with moving on to the next thing, that I disregard the possibility that God could be calling me to be still for the time being. My prayer is that I would grow in patience and contentment. I covet your prayers as God begins, or rather continues, to work on these areas of my life.

I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
Psalms 116:1-2

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Alabama the Beautiful. Seriously.

I am a Georgia girl through and through. I have always lived on the eastern side of the Chattahoochee and not that I think I always will, but I am partial nonetheless. However, this weekend I ventured over into Alabama for my friend Kimble's wedding. The wedding was in Birmingham, Alabama and I was fortunate enough to have friends in the city to stay with for the weekend.

The drive up 280 from Columbus to Birmingham is not an exciting one, but beautiful by all accounts. Or it's at least beautiful once you get past Opelika. I jammed along to Chicago (The Musical), Jack Johnson, Michael Buble, and Allen Levi and went through spurts of sunshine and rain before arriving at the Deaton home. The Deatons are long time family friends and were extremely gracious to let me crash at their house for the night. The weekend was spent with good friends from all areas of life reminding me once again how good God is to me.

Kimble and Matt's wedding was gorgeous. The ceremony was performed by James Rockwell, Area Director for the Greater Columbus Young Life chapter, and full of God's word. The reception was hosted at the Carraway-Davie House where guests were treated to amazing food and fabulous band. Columbus was certainly well represented with a number of Young Life folks as well as other friends.

The weekend was rounded out by graduation at Brookstone School back in Columbus on Sunday night. Betsy Flournoy, Ann Wilson, Mary Francis Flowers, Sam Teeples, and Anna Varner among others were honored in a ceremony held in the gymnasium at the school. Rain caused the event to be moved in doors and away from the traditional location of the quad in the middle of campus. However, the rain did not prevent attendees and graduates alike from enjoying themselves and celebrating the accomplishments of the class of 2009.

Overall, the weekend was a success. I really do love Birmingham and all it has to offer (more on this later), but in all honesty, "Georgia on my mind" is the song I start to sing as I get about five miles away from the Georgia state line. Thank you, Ray Charles.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Estelle Marie Yancey is number four in the Yancey line up.  I have to admit, there is a spark in Stella that I just adore.  Her eyes just pop and there is something about her grin that make me want to melt.  

Stella is always innocent.  At least in her mind. One of my favorite Stella moments was when she insisted that she had not had a snack even though I knew for a fact that she had.  It was my first run in with Stella and in the midst of tears, she swore that she would never speak to me again.  Two months later and she is quick to ask "Tree-sa" to pick her up and hold her. She is a girly girl who loves to dance and sing.  She is a ham and loves to perform for others.  She is very grown up for her five year old little self.  Stella loves to play dress up and she is extremely witty.  She has already had at least two marriage proposals.  One from her cousin, Peter, who realizes that cousins cannot marry one another.  He was not very happy with her second proposal, but understands.  Stella has given her heart to Hayes and says that even though she knows that others will ask her to marry them, it is too late.  Hayes has already asked her and she said yes.  Plus, he kissed her on the cheek repeatedly and that apparently sealed the deal for good.  

I most admire Stella's giving nature.  She is very quick to share her pretzels with Maggie or her toys with the little boy sitting next to her.  She isn't perfect and the sharing doesn't happen every time, but more oft than not, it is Stella that I can depend on to share her possessions with those around her.  

I am in love with this sweet girl and her funny ways.  I can't wait to see what kind of woman she turns into.  

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Dear Sarah Ann

You are graduating today and I am still a little shell shocked by that thought.  In my mind, you are still running around in jeans with holes in them and pretending to be the boy in whatever story we are acting out.  There is no way that you are seriously a high school graduate and transferring to Georgia Tech soon.  

But the truth is, you are a high school graduate and you are transferring to Georgia Tech soon.  You are someone that I am proud to be related to.  You are smart and funny.  Strong-willed and diligent.  You are one of the strongest people I know and you aren't afraid of much.  I love your determination and your drive.  I am thrilled that you are going to Tech and I am serious about paying your activities fee. I appreciate your candor and honesty. I like to know what you think about various situations and I am continuously surprised by your wisdom.  I appreciate that you are slow to speak.  I enjoy your stories about school.  I sympathize with you in your hardships and I am your biggest fan when you achieve anything at all.  You are smarter than I will ever be and you are humble about it all.  

I love you so much.  I know that you are excited about the future.  I am so proud to be your sister. Know that I will always stand behind you in your decisions and I will always be there being whatever you need me to be in that moment.  You are my favorite eighteen year old sister. 


Thursday, May 07, 2009

Because I miss him today...

Me, Rearcous, and Caroline
April 30th, 2003
"The Odd Couple"

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Bring the Rain: The Story of Audrey Caroline

Over a month ago, my cousin, Peyton, introduced me to a blog written by a woman named Angie Smith. The blog is called "Bring the Rain: The Story of Audrey Caroline." Angie is wife to Todd and mom to Ellie, Kate, Abby, and sweet Audrey who has gone to be with the Lord. The whole blog is about Angie's grief over the loss of her daughter, Audrey. Angie and Todd were expecting Audrey and were told that she would not live long after birth, if she was even alive at that point. They were given the option to terminate the pregnancy or carry Audrey to full term, knowing that she would die shortly thereafter. Terminating the pregnancy was not an option for the Smith family. So for the next few months, Angie carried her sweet baby with the knowledge that she would never really know her Audrey.

Peyton and I have been reading this blog like it is a novel that we just can't put down. It's almost like my daily devotional. Angie's faith is stronger and more alive than I have ever experienced from any one person in my life. Her dependency upon our Lord and Savior is inspiring and humbling. I admire her boldness as she proclaims the name of Jesus Christ in a non-aggressive way. She is warm, inviting, and open when it comes to her beliefs. She is sincere and consistent. Her story is thought provoking and full of lessons. She doesn't portray herself or her family in a way that they are not. She is simply human and talks about life as it happens. She is quick to admit her faults and just as Paul wrote, Angie says that she is "the greatest of sinners."

Angie's words make me stand in shame as I realize that there are probably those around me who have no idea how devoutly committed I am to my faith. There are times when I sit silently as others mock the name of my heavenly Father or carry on conversations about religious and spiritual things. As someone who longs to serve the kingdom of God as a missionary here in the states and overseas, there should be no doubt in any one's mind where I stand, yet I daily fail the gospel message. I daily fail to express my faith is word and deed. I daily fail to boldly stand before the thrown of Christ as His daughter and I daily fail to bring others with me as I fall at His feet.

Our conversation in small group tonight revolved around our roll as Christ's ambassadors in the world around us. How do I effectively bring the gospel to those around me in a way soaked with humility and grace all the while being content with the knowledge that it is Christ at work and not me? How do I minister to those around me when my boldness is lacking? My life is not perfect and I am the least among my fellow believers. Yet, I long to serve the Lord, even as I fail to show that in my day to day life.

I invite you to share and explore Angie's journey with me. I promise that you will not be disappointed. God is surely using her in ways that are far beyond my own understanding.

I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
Psalms 116:1-2


If you read this blog at all, you know that I keep five little girls twice a week.  Today I want to tell you about Josie, one of the twins.

Josie is the loner.  She plays well with the other girls, but she is just as content by herself.  She is outgoing, but reserved.  She is extremely smart and has enough common sense for all four of her sisters and me.  She is a go with the flow kinda gal who loves to read.  You can find her most often with her nose in a book.  She plays softball, the piano, is on the math team at school, rides horses, loves her sisters, and is quick to provide a hug.  She is an outdoor-sy girl and she isn't afraid of much outside of the occasional storm.  Her cheery disposition and her easy going nature make her a joy to love on.  

One of the things I love most about Josie is her genuine interest in others.  She likes hearing me talk about my siblings and enjoys asking others about their day.  She is curious, but not in a pushy way.  She is better than I am when it comes to asking questions in order to solve a dispute between one of her sisters and she is a constant peace maker.  

If I could see into the future and tell you what Josie will be when she grows up, I would guess that she will be a journalist.  Her curiosity, her love for people, her love of reading and words, all lead me to believe that one day she will be a great journalist with a knack for adventure stories.  She is a girl after my own heart. 

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

This week I learned...

  1. I love playing hostess.
  2. Sarah Ann graduating on Saturday really freaks me out.
  3. I seriously love keeping the Yancey girls.
  4. The older you get the less you want and the more likely you are to get everything on your birthday list.
  5. Good friends show up in the most unlikely circles.
  6. Stella Marie has me wrapped around her little finger.
  7. While I am not ready to be a real mom, I like playing one on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  8. Complaining is something my character could do without.
  9. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. 
  10. I really like packing boxes.