Cru Beginnings

🙂 Howdy y’all!

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve blogged and I really want to update you on my placement!

First, let me post this celeb picture:


That is me and the co-founder of Cru, Vonette Bright. She is amazing. We got a chance to hear her speak twice at our New Staff Conference. One, she’s very entertaining. Two, she is one of the most humble persons I’ve ever met. Everything she said about Bill, Cru, other ministries was saturated in grace. If I ever grow to be half the woman of faith and grace that she is, I’ll be completely content.

Also, ignore my awkward hand. I was trying to not let my certificate from the Commissioning Ceremony touch the floor. I ended up losing it later that night as I took home my roommates instead of mine and then I’m not sure what happened to mine… I’m still kicking myself.

Placement update!

As you know, when we join staff with Cru we’re joining staff with Cru being willing to go wherever there is a need. I am excited to announce that I have been placed at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina!

ECU Pirates I do realize that I left UTC who are the Mockingbirds to go to ECU which is a bearded Pirate. 🙂 Maybe the UTC train conducting moc can be on the Pirate’s shoulder.

I am really excited about working with the staff team there at ECU. So far, Jeff and Lindsey Rhea are the only full-time staff on campus. There are two guys who are currently completing their Ministry Partner Development, and one girl (who is THE cutest) intern, and another staff woman Jen who is engaged to Kevin! She’s not back yet from serving overseas, so be praying for her right now. And then whenever you think about her. Due to her secure location, I’m not going to post her picture. But I’ll post SO many as soon as we’re both on campus together! Which fits nicely into my next transition… I am hoping to get to campus by January to jump in on the spring semester! Please be praying for that!

Here’s a picture of the Rheas, Kevin and Adam! (Thanks Kevin!)


And of course, sweet Danielle!




Lil Jen!
Lil Jen!

So that’s my new staff team! It’s coming together quite nicely! Thanks so much for your continued prayers as we all seek the Lord and seek to make Him known among the nations! Check out our website:!




Praise the Lord!

I have 9 more days of college.

Yup. 9. Count them with me. 1,2,3,….9. I thought this day would never come. For a person who loathes school and has never been good at school, the next 9 school days can’t go by fast enough.

My last class in April 25th. I have to miss class this Friday because of STINT training in North Carolina. It starts at 7 on Friday, but it will take us about 9 hours to get there. I don’t think we’re allowed to be late for any reason. INTENSE. Other than that, there’s only four days the week after this one, and one day of classes before finals the week of the 25th.

I cannot wait until May 7th when they give me my diploma. I literally might do cartwheels across the stage. Considering graduation is less than a month away, I really need to get on the party planning bus. I haven’t placed an order for catering, rented tents, or tables and chairs. Oops. I’ll be sure to get on that right away…

Anyways, I’m going to go finish my French homework and try to get ahead/finish everything for the semester so I can work on my Muslims in the Media paper this week. I would like to let everyone know that I spent over 10 hours at Starbucks yesterday working on my third project for publication design. Finito! That’s dedication.

Alright, I’m out.


ps- Aimee and I got bored before Shabbat dinner at our house. Here’s the result.

This is the most normal picture we took all day.

She got new glasses. What do you think?

Uh. Ha. Beavers?
She's so scary in this one.
I'm already getting embarrassed.
Mirror effect. If only my face was truly symmetrical.


Let’s be honest here. I am a horrible multi-tasker. And to be embarrassingly honest, sometimes I’m not good at tasks. I tend to forget what I am doing, get distracted, do something else,and 3 hours later think, “what did I just do for 3 hours?” I wrestle with this. Is this my ADD that makes me a horrible multitasker or do I just need better time management skills/self-discipline? I think it’s a combination of all three to be honest.

Regardless of what has caused my under-productivity, this extreme lack of accomplishments has left me feeling quite overwhelmed. There is so much that needs to be done within the next 3 weeks. Let me lay it all out for you:

  • 15 page research paper on Muslims in the Media, and presentation
  • Group Design Project, final project, and portfolio
  • 4 french translations, 3 assignments, comprehensive final
  • Internship (only 10 more hours to go!)
  • 2 more intern diaries, intern final evaluation, build portfolio for that
  • plan graduation party- including renting tents, tables, chairs, decorations,ordering BBQ
  • send out graduation announcements and invites
  • get a cap and gown… oops
  • do required pre-training for STINT training
  • STINT training weekend in NC in two weeks
  • Start the support raising process on  May 8th.

Right now I’m trying to take it one day at a time. Can I also just let you know how many “lists” I have? I like to think that lists will help me be more productive and less overwhelmed (this only works when you take your time and only look at the things for today). Next to me, I have 4 lists. I don’t think that is helping me not feel overwhelmed.

Anyways, I am always looking for new ways to get motivated, organized, or whatever else you think might help, besides “stay on top of your work.” That’s a given. But if you know of anything like sitting on a yoga ball to help you concentrate, cleaning before studying, taking a walk, not sitting where you can peer out the window hopelessly desiring to be in the warm summer sun, etc…

Any ideas?

Jars of Clay- Run in the Night

This song is totally rockin’ my world right now. I just love this song.

  1. I told my bible study girls (the B-studs) that it hit me about a week ago that I am graduating. Me. Mary. That is a weird thought. I’ll be a grown up. A big girl. I keep thinking, “Crap, I’ll be doing this alone.(<lie) My three closest friends are married. They don’t have to go at this alone.” What a God-less way to think. I am never alone. God is constantly present, He is omnipresent. I am His, and He is mine. He will never leave nor forsake me. So, now that this lie has been vanquished, lets move on to lie number 2.
  2. “As of right now, I have no direction. I’ve applied for STINT, but I haven’t been accepted yet. I am thinking about seminary if Africa doesn’t work out, but where? And how am I going to pay for that? I really don’t want debt. Ce n’est pas bien.” Who is my God? Who is the one who has every day written before I was born? God has plans for me that are greater than any I could have ever dreamed of. And all are to give Him glory. He has it under control and all planned out, regardless of whether I know what they are or not. I’m so… not relying on/trusting in God.
  3. Last night we started talking about God’s provision and us submitting to our husbands. And I kept thinking, “God, if you’d only give me a husband to follow so I knew I’d be doing your will…” HA. I have a husband, an eternal one. Being a Christian is believing who Christ is, following Him, and submitting to His Lordship. I am called to submit to my Eternal Husband. I am called to trust that He will lead me where He wants me to go. I cannot thwart His plans.

Anyways, although I’m not in a dark place, I’m in a scary/intimidating place. I’m going to move into a new life stage. That’s very unnerving to me. Luckily, the peace of God is good and ever present. Even when I don’t read it in His word, He’s faithful to remind me through other things. Like Run in the Night by Jars of Clay. So, enjoy it. I hope you like it.

Intern Mary :)

I really love the sound of that. It does have some sort of ring to it, doesn’t it? Well, I’ve started my internship at a Christian radio station called J103. My first day was on Monday. It was awesome. My first assignment was to write an article on Matthew West for the J103 website. So, I researched info about him and wrote a little ditty.

On Wednesday, I uploaded the story to the website (all by myself!) and put in a video. If you are wanting to read it, it’s found on the Artist Spotlight page. And then I revamped the J103 Top Ten List. You should check that out! The top ten songs are links to Youtube videos of that song. So, go look around the site, listen a little, and tell me what you think!

I love web stuff. I’m such a nerd. But computer programs and web development are so fun to me. Who knew I’d be a techie? Anyways, I have class in an hour and am going to meet Mrs. Kate Duggan in 25 minutes!

Enjoy the rest of your day!

ps- I can’t wait to update you on The Maze and the impact it had on our campus! Get excited!

Shining the Light Alongside of J103

Well well well! You know who you’re looking at? That’s right! The brand spankin’ new intern for J103! I had an interview on December 2nd and just got the call today that they want me to be their intern this spring semester! 🙂 I’m so blessed to be Shining the Light alongside of J103. I can’t wait to start. Yay! I’m so excited. I’ll be updating you on when I start, how it’s going, what I am doing, etc.

I need to go study for my french final now. I have a 90.25% in the class. We’ll see how long this A lasts….. probably only 17 more hours. Bummer.

That’s okay. I’m an intern!!!


Christmas Shopping! Gifts That Keep On Giving!

By: Mary Smith

‘Tis the season to be… generous? Explore your options to buy gifts that give back this holiday season.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/TheLoop) –With holiday shopping having already begun, it’s not too late to become more enlightened to buying gifts that benefit others in need.

Most college aged students are pretty broke and are on an all too familiar diet of Ramen Noodles. How can college aged students make a difference in the worl on such a tight budget? Many organizations are benefiting others in need from their sales. TOMS, STOP THE NAKEDNESS, and other organizations offer fair priced gifts that appeal to trendy people.

Toms Shoes

Several companies have flourished using the principal of giving back to underprivileged people.TOMS shoes created a one-for-one movement in the United States in 2006 when Blake Mycoskie founded his revolutionary company. When you purchase a pair of TOMS shoes, a pair of shoes are sent to a child in need. The traditional styleshoe starts at $44. Gift cards, shirts, hoodies and other accessories are also available online. Since 2006, TOMS shoes has grown in popularity as well as product variety and will not be going out of syle anytime soon.

Nashville business, the Mocha Club, also has it’s own line of scarves that profit women in Ethiopia. The line is called fashionABLE. Scarves are appropriately priced at $22 per scarf. FashionABLE hopes to produce jobs for women in impoverished nations. When women cannot find jobs to support their families, many are led to a life of prostitution. FashionABLE hopes to prevent this from happening by providing jobs to the women in Ethiopia. Check out the informational video from livefashionABLE.

STOP THE NAKEDNESS is a non-profit company that has the same motivation as TOMS shoes. STOP THE NAKEDNESS is a company directed at showing the world love by donating clothing to children in need. For every shirt that is purchased, they will send a shirt to a child in need; but it doesn’t stop there. They send the consumer (you) a shirt to give to a friend to help raise awareness. The graphic tee shirts start at $20. Find out more about STOP THE NAKEDNESS in this promotional video:

Looking for a great pair of pajama pants? Try Punjammies. Punjammies are pants that are made by women in India who have been rescued, released, or escaped from forced prostitution. The Punjammie Project hopes to empower women by giving them a marketable job skill, therapy, medical care, and an education. Every purchase goes to establishing a fair trade wage, financial savings, and medical treatment. Punjammie pants start at $30 each.

Seasons Greetings!

UNICEF, commonly referred to as the United Nations Children’s Fund, is an organization that has been aiding children since it’s beginning in 1946. UNICEF claims to be a “global humanitarian relief organization providing children with healthcare, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more.” It is funded by contributions from individuals, groups, corporations, and several governments. Some of their financial support and awareness comes from their gift store. There are a wide range of gifts on thesite for parents, siblings, friends and co-workers. Holiday cars, children’s toys, home decorations and jewelry are just a few things that UNICEF offers. UNICEF also says that, “…every UNICEF card and gift you buy helps children around the world.”

GreenShops is an eco-friendly organization that benefits people and animals in third world countries from their sales. The Green Shop website contains a multitude of enjoyable nick knacks as well as more sophisticated gifts. One of the items for sale is a bag that says, “Feed the children of the world.” When a person buys this bag, one child in Africa will be fed lunch everyday for a year.

Online shopping is an annoyance to some. It’s understandable. Luckily, Calvary Chapel, 3415 S. Broad Street, is hosting a fair trade market on Sunday December 5th. Fair trade coffee from Honduras, jewelry, bags, and more will be for sale. Holiday shopping before the dreaded finals will be a nice calm before the storm.

A lot of gifts that keep on giving can be very expensive. For instance, sponsoring a child throughCompassionInvisible Children or joining the Mocha Club can get expensive. College students don’t always have the money to commit to a monthly pledge. But, with gifts that keep on giving, it is a one time financial commitment to help people who need help.

Another way college students can give gifts that keep on giving is to serve in community kitchens over the holidays. The winter season is especially hard on families and volunteers are needed at theChattanooga Community Kitchen in various areas. Helping out the staff and aiding people is a great way to give to the people Chattanooga who are in need.

Another college friendly approach to beneficial gifts is to participate in the Angel Tree Programthrough the Salvation Army. Angel Tree is a program where people buy a child gifts for during the Christmas season. They choose the child by picking their Angel off the Salvation Army Christmas tree. Volunteers are also needed to work the tree stations.

The last suggestion for buying gifts that benefit others is to ask people to donate to a certain cause for your holiday gift.