Charlottesville Worship Collective Vol. 2

S U P E R excited, and honored really, to say that one of my tracks was featured on the CWC Vol. 2 album!! I co-wrote the song with Paul Zach, Derrick VanLeer, and Jeff Bowmen. It's in Spanish and called "Asegurame". We wrote this song on a hilltop back in October at the CWC retreat. 

You can hear the song here: http://noisetrade.com/cvilleworshipcollective/songs-for-the-city-vol-2

Estoy S U P E R excitado y honrada porque puedo decir que unas de mis canciones se presentó en la CWC vol. 2!!! Yo escribí la canción con Paul Zach, Derrick VanLeer, y Jeff Bowmen. Está en español y se llama "Asegurame". 

La puedes escuchar cuando vas a este enlace: http://noisetrade.com/cvilleworshipcollective/songs-for-the-city-vol-2

 

Women Abide Conference

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A huge thanks to Women Abide for inviting me + Jordan to play for their conference this morning/afternoon (3/19/2016). What a beautiful time!!

 

It was a privilege getting to minister alongside Deborah Hiebert from International House of Prayer in Kansas City💖

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B L O O M

[B L O O M]

"Oh I'll wait until I'm done with college to..." "Just one more semester of high school and then..." ""There's always time in the future for that." "Later later later!!!" 

Look. I get it. Life is full of..well life! It's teeming with busyness and overflowing with activities. For some, life is can actually be boring and underwhelming. Regardless of how you view life, stop making excuses to not bloom where you're planted. 

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There's a quote that says, "A flower doesn't think of competing to the one next to it. It just blooms." I LOVE THAT! 

 

And sure, it's a struggle to bloom sometimes! If you're a flower, you have to make sure you're planted in the right place, there's got to be good soil, you must be watered, and you have to deal with insects eating away at you all the time. But even if all the good things that a flower is supposed to have aren't there, they usually still bloom. 

 

I believe in you. I believe you can bloom. 

 

Don't allow the negative to take away from your purpose or your destiny ✨

 

Also remember that it takes time to grow before you can fully bloom! Don't be discouraged 💖🌺 cities aren't born in one day

 

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Dreams

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"If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough. Don't downgrade your dream just to fit your reality; upgrade your conviction to match your destiny!" - @clutch_05 

As we prepare to enter a new year, I've had many thoughts evaluating this year. While it was fantastic, it wasn't an easy year and it would be a shame if I didn't take anything away from it. I want to share a little lesson that I've learned in 2015, 

Life isn't easy. God gives us free will to decide what we want to do with this life, but that doesn't negate the fact that He's deposited a unique perspective, gift, and vibrancy in each of our lives. It's already inside of us and it's there like a video game. We have to play the game, be tested, and run the course until we pass the level. There is no level that we are guaranteed to reach. Dream, believe, work, and achieve.

Xx,

Lily G

#prayforparis #prayformali #prayforisis

The truth is that we live in a dark world and we are called to be the light. I'm thankful to live in a country and area where I don't fear for my life when writing a blog post, where I can pray to Jesus wherever I would like, and where I don't have to worry about my house and family being bombed. Sure, these are things that people in this nation may worry about, but it isn't a true fear. It would be naive to say, "I'm not next", but it would be foolish to say, "My God isn't greater." 

As I scrolled through Facebook this morning I became grateful that we can create a hashtag that spreads awareness about a situation. However, life and situations are more than a hashtag and while changing your profile picture and a hashtag on Facebook to represent your support of France is not a bad thing, it's not the only thing you can do. 

Taken yesterday - November 19, 2015  

Taken yesterday - November 19, 2015  

Yesterday my friends and I went out to brunch at a public cafe and had such fun telling goofy stories, sharing jokes, and giving "life tips" to each other. Towards the end of our time together someone asked if we had any prayer requests for that week (we meet a couple of times a month for a dinner + Bible study) and we all set a piece of our hearts out on the table. After we finished praying for each other we prayed for ISIS, the people affected by the Paris attacks, and all the refugees and the situation that America is facing on bringing them in. 

You see, our support is more than a hashtag. If you write #prayforparis #prayformall #prayforisis, then I hope you really are praying for those people! I wish evil things didn't happen in this world, but they do. So we can pray. We can love while we are still on this earth. We can have conversations with as many random strangers as we can and ask them how their day was and what we can be praying for and then pray for them right then and there (unless it's uncomfortable for them, then pray on your own time). The hardest "what can I do??" is the one I'm going to say next. Forgive ISIS. Forgive them because that's what the love of Jesus would and does do. That's what many of the families members of the martyred are doing. You can read about that by clicking here. 

Do not live in fear and do not live in worry. Live in love. 

xo,
lily garay

"Clean pair of sneaks..."

Yesterday my heart was broken. I heard a story, from right within my own community, of a little boy who owned one pair of sneakers and one pair of cleats. As he was playing at the Boys & Girls Club yesterday the life of his only pair of sneakers died...leaving him with dirty socks as the only cover for his little feet. 

The front desk lady (who happens to be my mom 😋) called the boy's mother to ask her to bring another pie of sneakers, but found out that all he had as a replacement for the sneakers were a pair of cleats. 

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An anonymous donor ended up bringing two pairs of shoes. Sure, they might not be the highest quality or name brand sneaker, but at least the boy will be able to play and go to school in them for a couple of months.

The reason I'm telling you this story is because I know what it feels like to want to help, to want to go out and do something, but not being sure where or how to start. You've probably heard this a few times, but you really don't have to go overseas to help others in need. If that's your calling, then great! Go pursue that dream!! I encourage you to call your local boys and girls club or Habitat for Humanity and ask how you can help. 

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You may say, "Lily, I'm not 18 yet!! I don't have a college degree!! I don't have money!!" I'm going to give you the most practical little tip I know right now. Let's say you want to buy a child a pair of shoes. I'm sure you'll be able to find a $7 or $10 pair of shoes out there (I'm sorta kinda a bargain shopper so don't tell me it's not possible :). If you and 19 of your friends, family, school mates, and teachers pitch in .50 cents, you'll be able to afford a $10 pair of shoes. If you and 9 other people chip in $1, then you'll have $10 for a pair of shoes. "Oh but Lily, I don't have a car to take the shoes to the boys and girls club!!" - Message me and I will pick up the shoes and take them for you.

 I would also encourage you to find ways to give a hand up versus a hand out. The BGC gives children points (a rewards system based on behavior & actions) that they can use to buy things with and you can ask if the child could buy the pair of shoes versus just giving it to them. 

"Give a man a fish and he will eat for the day; Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime." 

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

What differentiates good leaders from great ones

   As I type my thoughts into cyberspace, I can't help but feel extremely grateful for the different mentors that I had growing up and for the ones I currently have. It is because of my mentors that I was able to write (and put into practice) the list I'm sharing with you. That's the first thing you'll learn about being a great leader. You can not be a great leader if you do not have a mentor guiding you, showing you the ropes, and connecting you. You do not get to become a great leader by being a one man show. 
     At 18 years old I find myself with multiple leadership roles and while I don't want to fail anyone I especially don't want to fail at the tasks that God has placed in my life. This morning I backtracked to something my 15 year old self had written on September 26, 2012. I have decided to share it with you because not only do I believe in the following 11 points, I believe that those who take this list seriously and put it into practice will go from good leaders to great leaders. 

1. A GREAT leader recognizes talent and uses the talent/gifts of those around them. They don't take it all for themselves. They realize that a team is an important role for their successful futures. 2.They aren't afraid to stand up or speak out. 3.They know how to say yes and they know how to say no. Because there is a right way to say yes & no.  You must take into consideration what the person had done to ask you before you dismiss them and say no. 4.They know how to honor and respect those above them. They also know how to honor and respect those that are "below them". 5.They know how to work with others. 6.They know their weaknesses and they know their strengths. They know that they have to work on their weaknesess in order to be great. 7.They've established HABIT 8.They say goodbye the right way 9.THEY LISTEN!!! 10.They not only inspire themselves to do better, but they inspire others to do better. 11.Good leaders get things done for today. Great leaders get things done for today in preparation for tomorrow. 9/26/12
Vital part of leadership

Vital part of leadership

 

I've made this post easy to share with other people you believe can become great leaders! If you look below the "Tags", you will see a button that says "share". 
XO,

Lily Garay

The end of September

No, I'm not going to write a post about Justin Bieber's newfound Christianity or about Donald Trump. As tempting as that may sound (LOL yeet).
 

As September comes to a close I find myself grateFULL. Full of thankfulness for this new season, thankful for all the singing and speaking engagements I've had. 

Friendships have bloomed and I'm praying that in October those friendships begin to blossom. 

I don't really have much to say on this partially cloudy evening. All I have to write about that is of any value comes from the following sentence: I am overall so grateful because I know I am living a life that is led by Jesus Christ. 

XO,

Lily Garay

You can get there

Oh my friends, what a week. I've had it in my heart to share this on my blog for a while now. It's definitely something that I've been preaching to myself all week.

The most cliché of all metaphors...mountains. Perhaps you have just arrived at the beginning of your personal hike and are staring at the first hill full of trees and rocks. You know those mountains trails that seem nearly impossible to climb up? The ones with a winding path so long and uphill that your calves start cramping, face starts dripping with sweat, and thoughts of returning back to where you began start to creep in. Don't give up!! The view is worth it. 

Just last week my family went on vacation to the touristy beach of Virginia. My sister decided to go boogie-boarding, but she couldn't "catch a ride" on any of the waves because she kept hesitating when waves large enough to carry her were coming. She kept looking back and when a wave eventually began pushing her to the shore, she looked back, lost focus, and fell off. There are times where we look to our past and think, "Maybe I should've done this or that. I shouldn't have hesitated! Oh well..I'll make it through or do it differently next time." And you keep getting knocked down by your past because you don't change your present methods. Every time we look back and don't learn a lesson from it, we lose our focus. Refocus and allow your past to push you to where you want to get. 
 

We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character.

- Henry David Thoreau
 


"Some burn up in the fire. Others are refined by it." - lecrae


I don't know what it is that you're facing today. Maybe it's something really painful and hard to deal with. Maybe it's a goal at the gym. I simply don't know. Please remember, you're stronger than you think.

You have greatness embedded in your DNA. You have the power to be bold.

Dream. Believe. Persevere. Achieve. 

XO,
Lily

 

 

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Today//this week

Today was a good day.

I prayed. I went to the gym. I worked. I played music. I made a friend. I went to The Farm House. I got an unexpected pay check. I bought the NT1-A mic that I've been wanting. I went to whole foods. I had coffee at a new place (Milli Joe to be exact) with a wonderful mom & just chatted about life. I had pizza for dinner. I had Shabbott dinner with my brother and a friend. I worked some more. Now I'm writing a blog post. 

Coffee from Milli Joe. Also my first coffee with a design. Lol.  

Coffee from Milli Joe. Also my first coffee with a design. Lol.  

I saw this really cool cloud today. I just love it.  

I saw this really cool cloud today. I just love it.  

The Farm House is a cool little place where I go to get work done.  

The Farm House is a cool little place where I go to get work done.  

This week I've been focusing on:          

-Listening to understand. Not reply.  

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These past couple of weeks I've really been trying to remember that there are going to be so many times in life that I'm going to have to wait for something. I think I'll always be waiting for something. However, prayer and faith without action is dead. It's in the Bible. I have to still work and pursue and persevere while I wait for whatever I'm waiting for. It's a challenge, but it's one that I'm trying to take.

Went to a really fun concert with my siblings on Wednesday night!  

Went to a really fun concert with my siblings on Wednesday night!  

Spent quality time with the fam 👌🏽  

Spent quality time with the fam 👌🏽  

We beached a little 😂 

We beached a little 😂 

HAHA CAUGHT MY SISTER SLEEPING! 

HAHA CAUGHT MY SISTER SLEEPING! 

 

On the third I wrote about how there are things in life that always try to drag me down. That remains true, but I hold on to the hope of Jesus Christ and because of Him I'm able to live such a gloriously abundant life full of love and happiness even when it's not all glamorous. 

Along with the things I've mentioned in this post that I've been trying to work on Spiritually and mentally, I want to encourage you (and me) to think about this in the upcoming week:

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I don't know what next week will bring, but I look forward to it! If you need prayer for anything, please don't hesitate to email me: info@lilygaray.com - I love you.

 

XO, 

Lily

 

Drag me down - one direction (fan interpretation)

The beauty of songs is that the artist has their own interpretation of it, but most artists open their songs to fan interpretation. Now I'm not a "directioner", but have you heard One Direction's song "Drag me Down"? I heard Ebony Day's cover and it's pretty great. I'm actually listening to her singing it as I write this post (yeah it's on repeat). Watch it after you read this post ;)

Even though I'm single (or as my mom likes to say, "Lily's a SINGLE PRINGLE HAHAHA!") there's two verses of the song that have latched on to my heart. What I'm about to write about isn't to push my beliefs on you, but simply to share the joy and goodness that I have experienced in my own life. 

"If I didn't have you there would be nothing left
The shell of a man who could never be his best
If I didn't have you, I'd never see the sun
You taught me how to be someone, yeah

All my life
You stood by me
When no one else was ever behind me
All these lights
They can't blind me
With your love, nobody can drag me down"

In my daily life there are a few things that try to drag me down. It's frustrating. However, these lyrics remind me of God's unfailing love. 

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If I didn't have God, I truly would have nothing left. Sure, I'd have a family and those I call friends. My soul would be empty though. 

I'd be a shell of a person who could never reach her maximum potential. I'd be so lost..so confused. I understand who I am not because of what I do, but because of what God has done and who He is.

God's word has taught me how to be someone. Going to church has taught me how to be someone. Everything that's made me what and who I am is because of God. 

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All my life, God has stood by me. Even when NO ONE was behind me. Yes, no one. 
All the light can't blind me anymore. When you're full of darkness, you don't want to see light. When you give your life to Jesus all you want is light. 

With His love, nobody - nothing - can drag me down.

   Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

 

 

Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

XO,
Lily Garay 

Hang on Tight

I have a song titled "Just Believe". I wrote it because it's very easy for me to concentrate on what I didn't do, the words of others saying, "You cant!", and the times I didn't make it past the first round in a singing competition. 

Then there are times where I'll get to live my dream for a few minutes. I get to sing in front of thousands of people live and through broadcasting. I get to share my stories. Then I come home and it feels like, "What am I doing here?!" And it's very easy to forget that while I'm off stage I still have to practice, pray, focus, and work on my craft!

My friends, it is very easy to lose focus. Choose to believe in the dreams that God has given you. They're in you for a reason.

Hang on tight, don't give up this fight. Just believe.

XO,
Lily Garay

If God can use my family, He can use yours

 

Good morning! I have it on my heart this morning to share with you how proud I am of my family (and there's a few words of encouragement at the very end) ☺️ 

My little brother is doing what he's passionate about from 9am-10pm. He's booked every hour today to not only give haircuts, but to work with extreme detail, excellence, and lend a listening ear to his clients.

My little sister has a really cool friendship bracelet business that has kept her busy for over a year! She also works at panera as a cashier which means she gets to spread her radiant joy and love to all those who order from her. 

My mom just finished working a full time summer job with the Boys and Girls club and she'll start working there part time next week. She's also working on another book and encourages women through her online ministry every single day! 

My dad continues to seek the Lord for what's best for our family, church, and community! Lives have truly been changed! He also travels to different nations to bring them the message of ultimate love: Jesus Christ. 

I'm not saying all of this to brag on our strength and what we can do. I say it to encourage all of you! Despite our sins, struggles, and failures Jesus still loves us and uses us!!! He is where we draw our strength from. Everything we do is in hope that we bring more honor and glory to God. 

We ask that you would continue to pray for us and if you need prayer for anything, send us a message and know that we will stand in prayer with you. 

If God can use us, He can use YOU! Don't think you've ever messed up so badly that God doesn't love you or can't use you. 

"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ." 

(Colossians 3:17, 23-24 ESV)

Love big

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Love big.

 

It seems - no, it is - so beautifully cliché. While "live big" and "laugh big" are great phrases, they can easily make up two separate blog posts. I want to write about "love big". Because "love big" can sometimes hurt big. Does that mean we should stop loving? No!! Tonight a friend told me that sometimes these hurts mean that we need to learn to guard our hearts a little better and find our comfort in Christ. I completely agree. While I believe we should love big, I always believe we should guard our hearts! We'd be foolish not to. Love big because you never know who needs to see that loving smile. Love big because you carry the love of Christ in you. 

 

Love big, 

Lily Garay

A little life update

Hey friends & fam,

I thought I'd give you a little life update. Everyone keeps asking about school, what I've been doing with my Summer, etc.

As far as school goes, I am currently taking a gap year! I've been taking 2015 to refocus, leap out of my comfort zone, and make sure that I'm truly following God's calling for my life. Thank you so so so much for your prayers & sweet comments. I really appreciate it all. 

My Summer has been different than most of my Summers. I took a two week vacation trip to Florida, but other than that I've pretty much been nannying and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity all Summer. That's something totally different for me. I haven't ever babysat so much in my life. I'm used to maybe 5 hours at the most on a Friday night, but I've been doing it all day for a few days a week.

Through nannying I've learned to be more patient with children. I've learned that playing with kids for more than 20 minutes can actually be fun, even though exhausting. I've learned that I still have so much more to learn about kids, but I think I'll leave that for way down the road when I decide to have my own. 

Through volunteering I've learned so much about others and why they've come to America and why they're building a home here. I've learned that I am a capable woman. I can use a table saw, a nail gun, I can put up dry wall (insert B-) emoji)!!!!!!! There's something to be said about using your hands to create a physical product. There's also something to be said about serving others before you serve yourself. I think that volunteering with Habitat has given me a good balance of serving others and jumping out of my comfort zone. I've also learned how to be still, to wait my turn, to work with a team, to ask questions and listen to the leader...

My hope is that I wouldn't ever stop learning, that I would continue to reach, and that I would always believe in the person God has created me to be.

XO,
Lily

To The One Feeling Alone

You feel like no one understands you.
You feel like all you make is mistakes.
Maybe you believe that you are a mistake.

You listen to everyone, but no one takes the time to listen to you.
You smile on the outside, but the inside is hurting.
You say you're fine, but really you're burning.

Tonight you feel alone.
You feel like there's no hope.
You're tired, weary, drained.

Friend, you are not alone.
You may be sitting in your room crying
In your car driving
But God is there.
I promise He's there.

And you may not understand
because you feel like you're just a grain a sand.
A little dying star
falling very very far
but He's holding your hand.

You may stumble
You may fall
You may be troubled
You may feel the struggle

But you're in the palm of God
the One who owns it all!

-Lily Garay
(copyright 2015)