Thursday, February 6, 2014


Have you ever been so thirsty, so dehydrated that you crave anything but that thing which your body needs most? Or the when you think you're hungry, but there's only one thing to satisfy that hunger...or is it thirst? You drink a soda, tea, milk, try some chocolate, crackers, cheese, and still there's no satisfaction. You need more. Something else. Water. 
Pour a glass, drink and drink until you think you're going to pop. 
Sometimes we can be in that same position spiritually. To be so hungry, so thirsty for God we don't recognize it for what it is. Perhaps you're not has happy as you used to be, and you need something to fill the gap. Maybe fellowship with women in the Church? More time with the spouse or kids? Join an outreach? A book by a Christian author should do the trick....but it doesn't, not quite. We know we need something, but in all our searching we bypass the very thing that will satisfy. Prayer and the Word of God. 
The leather bound book sits by your bed, untouched, collecting dust as the weeks pass. All the while God is waiting for you to pick it up, to call out to Him and He will fill your soul, quench your thirst. 
When did you stop reading? When did you think you had it all together and didn't need God every minute of every day? Or when were the rough times too hard for God to overcome if you would just ask? 
As thirsty as you are sometimes, it can be hard to pour that cup of water and drink. As burdened as your heart may be, it can be difficult to pick up the Bible, sit down and drink. 
Is it because of fear? Fear that the sins you know are present and have been trying to ignore, are going to be revealed and challenged? Fear that you cannot comfortably live with sin, even the tiniest one, when being fed by the Word? It will call you out. It will bring you to account for your sin, your actions, even if it's heart sin not and not outward. But that is as it should be. If we read the Bible and are not challenged and called to repentance by it, we are reading with callous hearts and deaf ears. The beauty of Christianity is repentance and forgiveness. We all stumble and fall. We all walk through the desert, the valley of darkness. When we repent and ask, God forgives and we become pure in His sight.
"You are all together beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you." Song of Solemn 4:7
Jesus even compares Himself to water--living water. If we drink the life giving water we will never thirst again, He will satisfy. Come back to the well, drink, be filled, and live. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Act As Though You Love and You Will

As I've been reading books are marriage this summer I've been thinking a lot about what it means to love people, not just your fiancĂ©/spouse, but anyone that God places in our lives. Specifically I've been thinking about it in regards to siblings and close family members. What does it mean to love? How do we force ourselves to love people we are not naturally inclined to love. Perhaps we have been hurt by people close to us, people who we want to have a relationship with, people we want to trust, or people who are daily involved in our lives––yet there is a barrier between you and them. I've been, and sometimes still am, in that position with my family. I am sure that there will be times that I find it difficult to love my husband, though right now that seems nearly impossible. =) What I've been reminded of is that love is not all about an emotion. It is not just a feeling––it is a commandment. We are commanded to love others as Christ loves us. Emotions cannot be commanded, but they can be taught. When we struggle to love someone, we have to ask God to love them through us and to teach us how to love with action and not just emotion. There are a few quotes from Tim Keller's book The Meaning of Marriage that have really stood out to me.

"It is a mistake to think that you must feel love in order to give it."
"Do not waste time bothering whether you 'love' your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the greatest secrets. WHen you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him."

We have to act as though we love someone even when we don't feel like it. As we do so, we should pray for two things, that God would give us the grace to love them, and secondly pray for that person. When you pray for someone else you will come to care about them more, you will look for the good, you will rejoice in the little triumphs, you will see more of their strengths and less of their weaknesses. It is so important that we be in prayer for our siblings, our spouses, and our children. How much greater could our love for them be if we forget about satisfying ourselves, forget about feeling love, and focus on the act of loving as Christ did? However we can not love with Christ's love if we do not have a proper relationship with God ourselves. We have know His love for us and understand the sacrifices He made for us out of love.
We are to "bare the cross of Christ," the trials of everyday life, but we should not see them as burdens, but as a way to lose our own life for the sake of someone else. To serve, to put the needs of others above our own, and to love with Christ's love. We are told that we if try to save our lives and live for our own pleasure and happiness, we will lose our lives, but if we live a life of service and humility as Christ did, we will find true life and true joy.

"Seek to serve one another rather than to be happy, and you will find new and greater happiness"

*All Quotes from Tim Keller's book The Meaning of Marriage.

Monday, June 17, 2013


This last week I finished reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. It was a fantastic story and journey of a woman seeking the joy, thanksgiving, and grace in every day life. She has a very creative writing style which illustrates the way she looks at life. Her focus throughout the book is finding the Eucharisteo in every situation. The word Eucharisteo is the Greek word meaning thanksgiving. The root word of Eucharisteo is charis which means "grace" and the word chara means "joy."
Toward the beginning of the book someone challenges her to make a list of 1000 gifts or things that she is thankful for and through the making of the list her eyes are opened to seeing things in a new light. Finding the joy in little things, in the mundane, the simple, and the challenging. She finds grace in the trials, the pain, and the sorrow. It is a journey of seeing God's loving hand at work in our lives in a way that we do not normally stop to think about or recognize as love and grace. Often it's hard to see Christ's love displayed though the pain of a friend's suffering, or the grace in the blown tire, or the joy in a cup of spilled milk, but as Ann writes down things she's thankful for she begins looking for moments and opportunities to thank God, she shares the Eucharisteo moments with her children, and life becomes a cup of joy and grace instead of the tiresome and crazy life of a mother with a half-dozen children.
I am taking up the challenge to begin a list. To stop and recognize the blessings and gifts around me. To search for the hidden treasures. To reform the way I look at life and to see it through the eyes of Eucharisteo. I encourage you to read the book if you have a chance. It's wonderful!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Freshman Year: A Twist I wasn't Expecting

I think 6 months is the longest I've gone between blog posts. Most of you (if anyone still reads my blog) probably thought college had eaten me, but I did actually survive freshman year. However, college took quite a different turn than I expected. Two weeks before finals, I got engaged.
It's a long story, but here goes. 
I had arrived in Moscow, gotten settled in, met my room mates, and said a tearful goodbye to my family and went down to a local coffee shop called Bucers with one of my roomies. We sat at a long table in the front and I met a lady named Mrs. Lloyd and her daughter. We talked for a while about who knows what, probably school, why I picked NSA, my family, etc. A few days later was Orientation, my first Sunday at Christ Church, and then a church wide picnic. I saw Mrs. Lloyd and her husband and stopped to say hi. Then their son Tellan walked over and introduced himself. He was an NSA Sophomore. Cool. Nice family. I moved on and prepared to start school. What I didn't know was that Mr. Lloyd and Jordyn (Tellan's sister) had picked me out and told Tellan before he even met me.
As the first term (8 weeks) began, Tellan made an effort to talk to me a lot at church, at school, at Bucers, and if we happened to be studying on our porch when he walked by since he lived just around the block. By fall break my siblings and I could tell that he was becoming quite interested in me. Leaving coffee in my mailbox was just one of the many hints. Meanwhile Tellan had talked to his parents about "ya know that girl you mentioned?" At the end of the term I left to go home for fall break and Tellan contacted my dad. He was interested in getting to know me and possibly pursue a relationship later on. I talked to my parents for a while and my dad gave us permission to spend some time getting to know one another. 
So the second term we spent time "studying" and talking at Starbucks, enjoying Sabbath meals with friends at his house, mine, or other places, and talking at school, etc. He also walked me home from school on days when our classes finished at the same time. Again, I headed home for Thanksgiving break and Tellan called my dad again. He was ready to take it to the next step. Again we talked about it  and then Dad began getting to know Tellan on his own and asking him questions. 
The end of the term began to draw to a close and we studied for finals, had a pancake party at his house, and things were great. Or so he thought. Two days before I left, with school off my mind, I had time to actually start thinking about where things were headed with this relationship. Stress and exhaustion got the better of me and I freaked out. Things like "he's kinda quirky," "I need to focus on school," "I can't handle school and a relationship," and "I don't know if I even really like him," were the thoughts my mom was bombarded with as we video chatted. My roommates were out enjoying their freedom and soaking up every minute of Christmas break, while I sat at home, lights dim, tired eyes red from tears. And I received a text: "hey, we should hang out before you leave." The moment I was dreading. I bundled up, he walked by, and knocked on the door while I prayed for God to give me the words, prayed he wouldn't be too hurt, and that I wouldn't cry. We walked down to One World (another local coffee shop). 
We ordered coffee, went up to the loft, and talked. He tried to carry the conversation, asking questions, making comments, but I was quiet and not my normal self and it was obvious. All the time I sat trying to figure out how to broach the subject, how to tell him I wasn't interested. He finally asked, "is everything ok? You're really quiet." I stared at my ceramic mug fingers tracing the rim. "Yeah, there's something I need to tell you." Then it was out. Silence. How hard did it hit? Is he terribly hurt? Now what? We talked some more and he said it was fine, and he understood. He wanted to know when we could talk about it again. Ummm when I'm 25? 40? Never? "Probably nothing till summer" I said. He nodded. Well, with that wet blanket thrown out there, we pulled our coats on and walked out. He stopped at the house his dad was staying at while he was in town and picked up the gift he had gotten me, walked me to my house, and gave me the gift. Why? After I just shot you in the arm you go and give me a gift? It was a Lee Brice CD and a bag of gummy worms. Man... he already knows me well. 
I cried myself to sleep, confused, exhausted, drained, and annoyed that I didn't understand my own feelings. 
I left early the next morning to drive home with Caity and a friend of ours from NM. The ride was 21 hours and I slept through most of it. Four weeks of Christmas break, four weeks of anguish, frustration, confusion, sleep, prayer, and talking to my mom. By the time I went back to school I was convinced I had done the right thing, I needed and wanted to finish freshman year, and I wasn't ready for a relationship. Though Tellan had seemed calm and fine after coffee that night, I had no idea that all Christmas break he was just as miserable and upset as I was. Even though he had a feeling things weren't really over, that didn't keep him from feeling the pain. 
When we got back to school, I was holding firm to my resolve and we avoided each other and didn't talk for the first two weeks. As providence would have it, that was "courtship" term in Lordship class where we talked about the roles of men and women, courtship, and marriage. Pretty soon I began realizing that we had gotten to know each other pretty well, and I missed my friend. I also realized as we read about what a godly man and husband should be like, that I knew a man with so many of those wonderful qualities and he was interested in me. 
One day I was out shoveling snow (or rather chipping ice) on our side walk when Tellan walks up. He had been praying that God would give him an opportunity just to talk to me. Boom. Prayer answered. He stopped and we talked for a few minutes, he walked home to get a better shovel, came back and finished chipping the ice. As I stood there watching him, he apologized to me! What did he have to apologize for? I was the one that was so unsure of herself, the one that caused the pain. Wow! At least we could be friends again. I talked to a professor one afternoon about Tellan and relationships and life. I began talking to my parents about Tellan again and informed them that I was interested in pursing a relationship with him if he was still interested. My dad emailed to ask if he wanted to pick up where they left off. He was answered with an enthusiastic yes. At the end of third term, my family went down to Arizona for spring break. That happens to be where Tellan's family lives and so we met up with them several times. Mid week my dad gave Tellan and I permission to start courting. 
We began spending even more time together studying, talking, eating, sitting together at Church, etc. We also began reading a courtship book together. My dad had given him permission to try and win my heart and he did exactly that. We got engaged on the front porch of my house where we had spent lots of time talking, studying, and reading. We are so excited to get married this summer and begin next school year as a married couple.  
Thank you to all of you who prayed for us and were a huge encouragement to us both throughout our relationship. 

~Striving for Christ,

Monday, December 31, 2012

Out With the Old, In with the New

It's the last day of the year and if you're anything like me, you look back over this last year with many great memories as well as the knowledge that you failed in many respects. Maybe it's just me. This year was full of incredible blessings, adventures, lessons, and memories. I am surrounded by amazing family, I live in a beautiful home, I have the opportunity to attend a phenomenal school, I can see, hear, smell, taste, and feel, and best of all I have been given the most amazing and undeserved gift--the gift of God's love and redemption of a truly wretched sinner. Yet daily I face the choice to please my God and Savior or myself. I have the opportunity to serve God and the people around me or to focus on myself. I can either put God first or I can live to satisfy my desires. Much more often than I wish, I choose the path that makes me feel good momentarily.

I have struggled to put God first in everything. I have failed to daily make God my anchor and yet I never fail to prioritize facebook or other such trivial nothings. Is it any wonder that I get to the end of the day and feel like I didn't accomplish what I should have? If I can't keep the most important things in life in order I have no business making time for the insignificant things. I look back at the last year or two and I regret all the time I wasted. I regret how much time I spent on things that the next day or next week mean nothing to me and didn't draw me closer to God or to my family or even strengthen my mind and character. I do not want this next year to hold the same regrets, to be full of the same mistakes, or to have produced as little as I feel this last year has. 

In the past I've been a resolutions person. Every year I write out things that I want to accomplish, change, do, or not do in the coming year. Every year I look back at the previous list and I see many of the same things as I just wrote. I remember falling behind in my Bible reading schedule when life "got busy," or missing a few days of my workout regimen and then never really getting back on track. I got discouraged because it wasn't perfect or as easy or as glamorous as it seemed at first and the whole thing ends up in the trash. I give up way to easily. How I'd hate to be known as someone who gives up and quits because something is hard or doesn't go as I had planned or hoped. I don't want this next year to be the same. I want to look back on the year and see that yes, I did struggle to do my quiet time each day, but I didn't give up, I picked back up and kept going. Yes, I did miss several days of exercise, but I didn't just quit, I moved on and got back on track. No, I wasn't as intentional today as I planned to be, but that doesn't mean tomorrow can't be different. 

So I'm not making a list of resolutions for the year, but there are a few things that I want to set as my guidelines for this year:

"Where ever you are, be all there." 
It is easy for me to try to be planning out tomorrow while it is still today. I need to learn to live each day and each moment as it comes, learning to be intentional with my time and efforts knowing that what I do today is shaping who I will be tomorrow. 

"For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." Gal 5:13 
We have been crucified with Christ and need not be slaves to sin any more. Christian liberty does not give us freedom to do as we choose as please the flesh. We are children of God called to serve Him through our freedom.

"Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being." 1 Cor 10:24
To love others and seek to be a blessing is to love God and live in humility. It is nearly impossible to live in pride and self-centeredness when we are more concerned about other than about ourselves. 

"If anyone among you things he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue he deceives his own heart and this one's religion is useless." James 1:26
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. I pray that the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart will be pleasing to the Lord and edifying to those around me. That my speech will be seasoned with grace and love. That criticism and pride will be far from me and that God's love will shine through me even when I find it hard to love others. 

So as we say farewell to the old year and welcome in the new, I earnestly pray that God will help me to say farewell to the "old man" and put on the new with sincerity, grace, love, and humility. However God has taught me some much needed lessons this year and I pray that I will not soon forget them. I am eager to see where God leads me this next year and what new lessons He has in store. 

Happy 2013!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sometimes You Just Need A Little Home

 When I wrote my last post, which was over a month ago, I was just trying to stay afloat, and now here I am, back at home on fall break--my first term finals behind me. One of my professors said at the beginning of the year that he "will not let us drown, but [he] will let us flounder." He was right. There were times when I didn't think I would make it through to the end and I couldn't see how I would ever get all of City of God read, but by God's grace, I did. And as I said, I am HOME! Only for a week, but home with my family nonetheless. Caity, three friends, and I left Moscow at 2:30am for the airport on Saturday morning, stopping to get doughnuts on the way. When I got into ABQ, after trying to locate my luggage, we went to eat at Rudy's (our favorite bbq place). I did eventually get my luggage back on Sunday. It was a blessing to fellowship with everyone from my home church. I've missed them all a lot. We also had a dance on Sunday which was a great way to get caught up with friends who I hadn't seen since I left. I am beginning to get caught up on sleep and get my fill (it's that's even possible) of cooking. I am so exceedingly blessed to have such a great family. I love being with them and they truly love having me around. I am so thankful that I was able to come home. I miss them a lot when I'm gone.
I'll be going back to Moscow on Saturday to start the second term of school. I am really excited. I am really loving all my classes. Latin is probably my favorite which is ironic because it was the one class I considered not taking at all. I am so glad I changed my mind. It's wonderful. It is probably also the most challenging, but I love it. This term in Lordship (my theology class) we'll be reading the entire Old Testament (or so I've been told by upperclassmen) along with a handful of other books, and studying the covenants, baptism, and the sacriments. I am really excited about that! It's something I've wanted to study and understand better for a long time. I really love school and the community. I have made some good friends and I love seeing Curtis and Caity all the time. I see them almost everyday. We have absolutely wonderful professors and a lot of really great students in our class. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am so grateful for it. God has blessed me tremendously. As always, I hope to post some while I'm at school, but we'll see. =D

 Caity gave me a bag of my favorite sour gummy worms to get me through finals week however, they didn't last the whole week. :-p
Sometimes studying for finals calls for a late night run to Wendy's for fries and a frosty.
 It's beautiful and BLANK! No classes, no assignments, nothing for a whole week!
 4:00am Doughnut stop on the way home.
Headed home. On cloud nine. =) 
Greeted by sweet notes from my mom and brothers on my mirror. 

Just a little taste of fall.
This year our apple trees actually produced fruit so we've been inundated by apples, but that also means we have an excuse to make apple pie, applesauce, and everything else apple, so there's no complaints at this house. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Fill, Dump, Reload

Reading, reading, reading. My brain is so full, so tired. The thought of trying to add one more book of City of God almost makes me cringe. Not because I don’t appreciate it, but because I am trying so hard to process what I’ve already read. I struggle with speed reading, knowing I’m not catching every word. It feels like cheating, but that’s what our professors want us to do. I resign, not because I want to, but because that is the only possible way get it all done before class. My mind wanders....thinking back to the beautiful days of summer -- back to lazy days of reading, volleyball, laying in the sun, family, friends, bowling, baseball games, backpacking, and water fights -- it all comes flooding back. I begin to miss my little younger brothers all over again. Something else that made the summer so wonderful was the growth and change we saw in the boys. They grew up before my eyes, not only in height and age, but in character. What a blessing. Praise God for His faithfulness. 
I thank God for the blessings He pours out on us each and every day. My eyes fill with tears as I think of how every little aspect of life is evidence of God’s overflowing love. The fact that the sun rises and sets every day. The changing of the seasons. Finding something you lost, receiving a sweet text from your daddy that just says “hey, thinking about you. I love you.” The joy of wearing a sweatshirt on a chilly evening. Receiving a care package from your mom which includes Oreos and a coffee thermos. So often we overlook the small things that God places in our lives. God loves it when we take delight in Him, in the little things He made, and in the little joys in life. I am so overwhelmed with the idea and presence of His great love. 
It is too much to comprehend, but never to much to give thanks for. Thanks be to God for His infinite and unfathomable love for His children. And now, it is time to return to the books. City of God calls whether I feel ready or not. 

*I wrote this one night last week when I just had too much on my mind to focus on Augustine. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Of This, That, and the Other

This is truly going to be a hodgepodge post because life is so full and everything happens all at the same time, or so it feels. The last time I updated was almost three weeks ago and I hadn't even officially started school. Well, a lot can and does happen in three weeks especially in college. Things officially began on August 10th at the NSA 2012 Convocation Ceremony where all the Freshmen signed "the book" for the first time and were welcomed to the school by all the faculty. It was a very exciting and momentous time -- the beginning of any life changing adventure usually is. =)

We got our first assignments at Convocation as well and so the weekend (except for Sunday) consisted of some scrambling to get some reading done before classes began on Monday the 13th. Weeks one and two are behind me and in those two weeks I've met tons of people, had several lectures, taken weekly quizzes, finished two books, started 4 other books, attended Christ Church, played volleyball and frisbee, studied at Bucers, walked through the Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings, spent time with my dear siblings, played games, cooked, and attended CRF. In all that I've managed to find time to run and bike and get a good amount of sleep each night. No, really. I have been. Don't look at the time I posted this. That doesn't matter. ;-)
It's been an amazing experience so far and already stretched and pushed me. I think Latin may be my favorite class so far, but it's hard to have a favorite here. This week we have two paper abstracts due and we write our first declamations. A paper abstract is like condensed form of what your paper is going to be -- the ground work from which you launch into your paper. And declamations are roughly 200 words that we write on any given topic or with some specific guidelines that we then present to our class and teachers. I think that's going to be really fun. We'll see how it goes. Sometimes writing 200 words is harder than a 4 page paper.

So that was the "This" part of the post and now on to the "that" part and later I'll get to the "other" part. Just hang on. =)

At the end of week 1 Mr. N. D. Wilson gave a talk to the whole student body that I found particularly thought provoking. It wasn't something new, but rather something that I've been thinking and talking about with family and friends a lot recently. As college students, whether already in the middle of their college experience or beginning of freshman year, we should all stop to think about why we are here and what we are going to do with our time at college. What is our purpose/calling in being here? It's going to be different for each student, but one thing that doesn't change is that we are all making a choice ever day. Every day is an opportunity for one of two things -- we can either slide away from godliness or we can walk on the path of righteousness. We cannot simply coast along in the middle of the two for four years, or even one year, and get to the end and all of a sudden be firmly planted in the path of righteousness. Each day we are practicing who we are going to become. The little decisions we make today are a part of shaping who we will be down the road. It's no small matter. There is no decision that is of no consequence. Every action has a repercussion. It can either be a blessing or a curse, but there will be an outcome from your actions today.
This is something I've thought about a lot over the last two weeks have I've been faced with tons of choices -- when, where, and what do study, who to spend time with, when and where to hang out with people, what parties and activities to go to and what to say no to. Choices of honesty, friendships, time management, forming good study habits, etc. They are all things that taken one at a time in little doses can seem like a small matter and insignificant, but it is in the making of those little choices that my character will be shaped in one direction or another. You will reap what you sew.

The "other" part of my post is actually going to wait.... one because it's late and I have to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for class at 8, and secondly because it's about a talk that I heard tonight at the CRF meeting that I thought was really good, but I want more time to think about it before I put my thoughts out for all the world to read. So that's it for now, but hopefully I'll have time to update again soon.

P.S. Highlight of the day - a roommate bringing home a box of doughnuts after work and four girls harmonizing and praising God together before returning to homework. Life in and of itself is such a gift, but to add additional joys on top of it all is almost too much. God is so good! =)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Week Zero and Commonplaces

 My stack of books for this first 8 week term (minus a couple). 

"Week Zero", as it's called here at NSA, is coming to a close. This week was mainly pre-school classes geared to help incoming freshman get ready for the year and understand how things are going to work, what to expect, and tips on how to do well in college. I found it very helpful and overall I'm not too stressed out. =) I know it's going to be a difficult and rigorous road ahead, but with perseverance and God's grace I will survive. It's humbling to know college is not something I can do by my own strength and I have to trust God to help me. There will be times when I don't think I can stuff one more latin word in my brain or I can't keep my eyes open one minute longer, but I can't stop. I can't give up. I have to keep going and force myself to go beyond the limitations I think I have. Those limitations have been set in my mind only because I have never been pushed to go beyond them before. If I throw up my hands and give in when the going gets tough I will never succeed. I will never know how far I can push myself and I will have wasted all the time and money invested in my education.
As part of our preparation for college one of our professors assigned us a 300 page book, Thriving At College by Alex Chediak, on Tuesday to have ready to discuss by Thursday afternoon. It was really gratifying to finish the entire book Thursday morning and still have had time in the previous two days to spend time on other things. I know going into college, one of the challenges of this year will be learning to read faster.

This year as a part of our rhetoric class we are required to keep a commonplace book and have at least 10 new quotes a week. Awww shucks. =D
I've kept a commonplace book for several years now so it shouldn't be a big deal. I'm looking forward to it. =) I found a notebook that says on the front, "Some people dream of success while other wake up and work hard at it." I thought that would be fitting. =)

There are a couple quotes from Thriving at College that are going in my book and I thought I'd share them here as well.

You are in college to learn how to think so that you can, for the rest of your life, increasingly love God with a well-trained mind.

Thinking you can know God's personal will in advance magnifies the stress it claims to remove. Trusting in God's control brings peace and rest.

You can love God with all your mind by being fully present in your studies, knowing that God is preparing you for what lies ahead in ways you cannot fully comprehend.

You are serving the Lord when you faithfully attend classes, do your homework, complete course projects, and study for exams. 

Whatever you're doing be fully present in it. 

College is a temporary season of academic preparation and growth so that you can serve God more effectively with the rest of your adult life. If you've chosen to go to college, then God's plan is that college be a springboard into all that goes with responsible Christian adulthood.

A Christianity not practiced today becomes a Christianity that is absent tomorrow.

"There is only one kind of life that truly wins, and that is the one that places faith in the hands of the Savior."

Momma, this is for you.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Getting Settled

I arrived in Moscow, Idaho on Thursday and got things moved into my house. Friday Mom and I spent the day shopping and getting things set up in my house to make it feel like a home and ready to live it. I am so enjoying the house and my room mates. We've spent a lot of time together and are all sitting around in the living room talking about personalities as I write. I am so excited about living with these girls for the next 9 months! I think it's going to be wonderful! 
Today, our landlord who is in town came over to see the house and figure out what things need to be fixed. Our carpet in the living room and dining room smelled really bad and after a little investigation we found there are real wood floors under the carpet. Our landlord, his sons, and a couple other guys began tearing up the carpet right away. Tomorrow they will sand the floors and then refinish them on Wednesday. We are all so excited and it already looks great and more spacious even though the floor is in a rough unfinished state. =) 
This evening we cooked dinner together and had a wonderful time of fellowship with our landlord and his family, the guys that are working on the house, and a few young ladies from school. It was so wonderful to be able to host 12+ people in our house and not feeling constrained by unfinished flooring, small spaces, not really knowing the people, etc. I can't really describe it. It feels like such simple hospitality, but it is so beautiful. I am so excited about this year and all that I will learn through it both academically and in everyday life. 
Here are some pictures of my house with the unfinished floors. I'll post some more pictures, hopefully in a couple days, when everything is finished and put back together. 
This is a picture from the front door looking into the living room and dining room
 This is also from the front door looking toward the hall and my bedroom (the door on the left).
 This is our scattered living room and our super comfy chairs that all four of us love....unfortunately there are only two. =)
And this is my bedroom, or at least my side of it. =) 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


In reply to yesterday's blog post, a friend of mine sent me part of this poem. It is a beautiful poem about trusting God and learning to wait on His perfect timing. It fits perfectly. I love how God uses friends to encourage us at just the right time and in just the right way. What a blessing.

by Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, "Wait." 

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.
"My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign. 

"You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply." 

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting for what?"
He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

"I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

"You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

"You'd never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

"The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I'm doing in you.

"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait."

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Let Go and Let God

Each day passes reminding me that I have one less day at home. This summer has flown by. I knew when I got home from the graduation/wedding trip at the beginning of June that I would have 8 weeks at home, and though I knew it would be short, I didn't realize just how short it would feel! I am down to 9 days at home. For 28 days straight we have had constant and overlapping company, which was a blast and I wouldn't trade for anything, but then when the house is quiet and our lives return to their normal routine, I realize just how little time is left.
Our last Sunday at our church. The last time I see different people. The last Bible Study. Last ladies' prayer. Last frisbee game. Last. Last. Last. . . Each one marches on no matter how much you want to hold on - to savor the moments and drag them out. They slip by. There is a season for everything, but sometimes it's hard.
I am looking forward to college, don't get me wrong. I know God has many things to teach me in many different areas of life, and for that I am excited, but at the same time it is bitter sweet. The uncertainty of the unknown lies ahead. How will I be changed? Both positive and (hopefully very little) negative. What will change at home? How long will I be called to go to NSA? What will come next? How will friendships change while I'm away. What new friendships does God have in store and how will those change me? In what ways will I be drawn closer to God through it all?
So many questions, and so far, no answers. Time will tell. I must let it rest in His hands.
One thing that comes to mind every time is that God is in control. He has a plan. He holds every day and every moment in His hands. My job is to live each day to the glory of God and let Him work out His will through me. He is the Potter, I am the clay. My life is His to mold and shape for His glory.

There is a really good quote from Kevin DeYoung's book Just Do Something that sums up our lives.

‎"So the end of the matter is this: Live for God. Obey the Scriptures. Think of others before yourself. Be holy. Love Jesus. And as you do these things, do whatever else you like, with whomever you like, wherever you like, and you'll be walking in the will of God."

Friday, June 29, 2012

June Birthdays

 June 11th was Russell's Golden Birthday. I can't believe he has now celebrated 6 birthdays with us now! He has grown so much in the last 5 years!!! I pray the Lord blesses him with many more wonderful birthdays and that He draws Russell closer to Him each passing year. 
His request for his birthday breakfast was to make an apple strudel with his sisters. 
His birthday cake of choice was of course chocolate with chopped up candy bar and chocolate frosting. 

 And Caity made an amazing cherry gelato with sweet cherries from our tree. 
My birthday followed on the 13th. We carried on the tradition of fajitas and cheesecake for dinner. This year my grandma was able to join us. 

 Caity made the cheesecake and an amazing cherry sauce (yes we have an abundance of sweet cherries). =D

Of Friends, Summer, and Bowling

Found this sign at a park....ummm ok?

My family teases me about my style =)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

One Man

There is one man who means the world to me. 
A man that I look up to an admire. 
Who has walked each step alongside me. 
Who has shown what it means for a man to love his wife.
A man of humility who loves to give. 
Who showers his children with love and gifts. 
Who cares about raising his children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
A man who has an amazing work ethic and never complains.
Who teaches his children that work is a good thing.
Who loves to spend time with his family and take them on fun vacations.
A man who lives out traits that I will look for in the man I marry. 
A man who I love with my whole heart. 

Thanks for being such a great dad. 
I love you!