Friday, December 29, 2006

Future Tradition

I would like to take this time to thank a special friend who has created a wonderful memory for me, a memory that has developed into a future tradition. Thank you Sue for teaching me so much, especially taking the time to show me the special touches of making an apple pie. I enjoyed that time we shared as we worked together and as you taught me the basics of baking. That time with you meant so much to me. And though we may never share that experience again, it is something that will stay with me.

It was such a special memory that I wanted to share it with my sister and niece. I know my sister will do her always wonderful job describing the night, but I just wanted to say thank you to the friend who help create this tradition.
Last night Jess, Grace, and I made our first apple pie together. And though we discovered the importance of patience and though the kitchen looked like a virtual war zone, I was so thankful for that time with my girls...baking an apple pie, creating memories, creating a tradition. I look forward to next year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gift of Love

Ephesians 5:2
and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

An expression of love for a special couple that united in marriage, and who understands the importance of keeping Christ the center of their love.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Last night I shared with my bible study group a few scripture verses that really spoke to me. We have talked before how we sometimes bargain with God, how we want undisputable proof that He is there, that He wants us to do something...we just want a sign sometimes. We begin to question ourselves and we question God. Sometimes a little doubt exists. Sometimes fear gets the better of us. Sometimes we let life's struggles discourage us.

In Judges 6:15-18 I see that doubt, that questioning in Gideon. It states, "But Lord", Gideon asked, "how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family." The LORD answered, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together." Gideon replied, "If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you." And the LORD said, "I will wait until you return."

The Lord said he will wait! I was amazed at the patience the Lord had with Gideon and I am sure the Lord has with me. As I battle the doubt, He is waiting patiently for me to return to Him. As I question His calling, He is waiting patiently for me to return to Him. As I get burdened with life's struggles, He is waiting patiently for me to return to Him.

What a message of Hope!

Friday, December 15, 2006

God is Amazing!

Wow! GOD IS AMAZING! How can we doubt? Thanks Dina for the amazing experience last night!

You see, last night Dina took me down the road to see the Northern Lights. I have always wanted to see them, but never thought I could see them from here. It was such a clear night! we pulled off on a side road, got out of the car, and just stood there watching the sky with the bluish/greenish haze. Streaks of blue and green would shoot up towards the center of the sky. It was like our own personal light show. It was beautiful! It was one of those moments where you wish you had a camera, but knew that no picture could ever really capture that moment, those feelings of awe, and the colors that were present. It was one of those moments where you realize how amazing God is, and how beautiful His creation is. It was one of those moments where I thought of nothing, wanted to be no where else, but there.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Last night after meeting up with a friend, I had the unique opportunity to come home early in the evening. Some how my week nights get filled with late meetings, choir practices, bible study, dinners with friends, or other evening activities that seem to come up. But last night I was home at 6:00 with nothing planned or nothing I had to run off and accomplish. And on top of that, you guessed it, it was raining. For a moment I thought about what I could get done at home, or maybe turning on the tv to see what might be on. But instead, I grabbed a book and since we are having this unusual warm weather in the middle of december, decided to enjoy the rain a bit on my porch. I sat there trying to keep my book from getting too soaked, but reading and at the same time enjoying all the sounds the rain makes as it hits the ground, the porch, the cars, the houses, the road. When it became apparent that my book was getting a little on the damp side, I decided to retreat back into the house. I laid my book out on the table so that it would dry and grabbed a blanket and curled up on the couch. There, through my sliding glass doors, I watched the small storm pass over. There were a few spots of lightning and sounds of thunder, but the rain was constant. Then it just stopped. Just like that, the storm was over and there was a break from the rain.

So why am I rambling about the rain and this experience yesterday. Because if I hadn't taken the opportunity to just stop moving, working, running around, I would have missed out on one of the most calming and enjoyable experiences I have had. I can't plan the storms, but I can take the time to enjoy them. I am one of those people who likes to be busy, getting things done, meeting with friends, but sometimes it is just nice to stop, do nothing, and just enjoy the moment!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Birthday Celebration!

What another amazing week. Most people know how much I love fact, I usually plan something every night of the week of my birthday so that it can be a week long celebration. So this past week was a busy week for me, from dinner with friends, a wonderful youth conference in Indy, dinner at Palomino's and Buca's, shopping with the greatest sister, dinner at the Boathouse, a great musical in Warsaw with friends, to being a proud aunt and watching the cutest little sheep (Grace of course) in the children's Christmas play at Union Center. It was just an amazing week and an amazing birthday. It has been an amazing year! Who would have thought after all I have been through, that I could say that. But honestly, I have never felt more at peace with where my life is. My life is no where near perfect, but I find comfort knowing that I am not in control. I find comfort knowing that God is in my life, leading me down the road He has prepared. I find strength in the friends who surround me. I find love in the family, especially my amazing sister, who encourage me and who love me for who I am. I am excited about this next year in my life and the years to come, because I no longer feel lost, but feel at home.

It is perfect that Grace played a sheep, because I felt like that lost sheep before, But this past year, God found me and I can't think of any better reason to celebrate!

Matthew 18:12-14
What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Answer is a Question!

Recently I shared with my Bible study group that I found myself skimming Judges, rather than really reading it. So I started all over again to take the time to really study it. Thankfully I did, because today I came across such a powerful question. A question that I missed during my previously rushed reading time. Within the scripture verse Judges 4:14 is the question, "Has not the LORD gone ahead of you?" This question seemed to be an answer I have been looking for.

When I think I am alone and no one really understands what I am going through. God is always with me and He is leading the way.

When I can't seem to find the courage to do something, God is always with me and He is leading the way.

When I find myself lost and confused, God is always with me and He is leading the way.

When I begin to worry and want to start planning my own future, I can find comfort knowing that God is always with me and He is leading the way.

With the world changing all around me, the one thing I can count on, the one thing that remains the same today and tomorrow...God is always with me and He is leading the way.

I hope you find the strength and confidence in this question that I have found...the strength to trust in the Lord always and the confidence to really make the choice to follow the One who is always with us and who is leading the way.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Family!...It's A Long One!

I have been thinking a lot about my family recently. I am so thankful that I live right down the road from my sis and brother-in-law and their family. Everyone knows how close we are. Our blogs even show how close we are. But as much as I love them, and as special as my relationship with my sister is, I find myself thinking about the rest of my family.

Seeing my brother, niece, and nephew this weekend was definitely a highlight of thanksgiving. There isn't a lot in common between all of us, but we always have fun when we are together, and I always look forward to seeing them! My brother is an amazing man. He is definitely accomplished, but most importantly, he is a good father. He has introduced his son and daughter to so much and makes time for them. He doesn't just drop them off at each of their games, but cheers them on. He may have a great house, a great job, work at being proficient at all of his many hobbies, but in my eyes he is a good father. My nephew and niece are growing up way too fast! I am just amazed at how their personalities are growing and changing. They are helpful, creative, smart, athletic, funny, and just great young adults!

Cute little Grace ended up giving Jess and I her deathly cold this weekend. Okay, not so deathly, but not a big fan of being sick! I spent all of Monday curled up in bed trying to breathe, trying to make my head stop throbbing. And as I laid there I thought about how much I missed my parents. I could have used mom's miracle grilled cheese sandwiches that she always made when we were sick and that always seemed to make us feel better. I could have used dad's big chair as we would sit with him watching great shows like M.A.S.H, Magnum P.I., etc...feeling safe knowing we would feel better soon.

I know I have mentioned family a lot recently, but it is just hard to get across how special they are me. Maybe it is the holiday season that is making me think about them often, or maybe it is finally realizing just how special my family is. Either way, I love them and they are on my mind and in my heart. I know we all have family that may not live close enough to see very often, but it just means that we cherish the time we do spend with them that much more!

Just had to share how special these people are!

Monday, November 20, 2006


Do you have those people in your life that you always turn to for assistance?...that you always count on to provide for you? Jess wrote a wonderful post on my parents and how giving they are. And as I was contemplating her post and my prayers lately, I realized that I had gotten into the "request" rut. I have taken those "relationships" for granted.

What was the last thing I have done for my parents? Even during their short visit, and after they provided us with so much, I actually made a request that they keep their eyes open for a particular item that I have been looking for. Who does that? Why couldn't I just be so grateful for all they have done and instead of making a request, turn the tables around and ask what they needed?

And in regards to my relationship with God, why have my prayers turned into request times. I examined my prayer this morning to find out that my requests far outweigh any praise I give Him. Have I made this about me instead of Him? How could I ever think I knew what was best for me or the world better than God?

The question should be what can I do for you?...rather that what can you do for me?...or what can I get? It is about trusting God enough to know that He will provide and take care of us so that we can fully open our hearts and lives to Him to be used to fulfill His will, not ours.

So I end this post with a couple more requests, because it is such a hard habit to break :)...Ask yourself, what can I do for those who do so much for me...and do it! Most importantly, let God handle the worries we have and the direction of our lives as he has proven to be trustworthy all along, so that we can be servants of God with a heart that asks..."What can I do for you?"

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


This past weekend, while watching football, a commercial caught my attention and presented a wonderful opportunity. You see lately, my amazing sister who seems to be able to do everything, has found herself tired and a little stressed studying for an extremely difficult accounting test working towards her master's. I know she has a lot on her plate, but I have been impressed at how she remembers the important things…spending time with her completely supportive husband, interacting with her adorable daughter, taking the time to talk to me about anything, going to choir practice, being active in our bible study. As tired as she is and as busy as she is, she keeps the time and love she has for her family, friends, and church in the forefront. She has her priorities straight and that is such a wonderful example to see. I knew I wanted to do something special for her and when I saw this commercial for Stomp, I knew that was it. Monday after rearranging our schedules a bit, I purchased the tickets and informed her that Tuesday night I wanted to spend time with her. It was the perfect timing because she was taking the test on Monday and would not have to study. Keeping it a surprise was the difficult part, as many of you know I am terrible with secrets.

So last night we saw Stomp! And it was completely and unbelievably amazing! The rhythm throughout the whole show moved us and just brought so much energy to the night. We sat their in awe of the talent and of the ability of the performers to entertain us, to distract us from all that we face and have to do, if only for a short time. It was one of the best shows I have seen…and maybe that is because of the company I was with. But, it was a great opportunity that I am so thankful for.

Thanks to the parents for introducing us to the arts so that we may develop that appreciation. Thanks to the performers who share their talents with us. Thanks to my sis for being an example. Thanks to God for creating opportunities such as these.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


What an amazing trip to New York. It was a trip filled with community service, site seeing, and just a lot of realizations. After a 16 hour train ride with 9 youth and 3 other adults, we finally arrived to NYC hauling our bags on and off the subway, through busy streets, until we finally reached our hostel. After taking a few minutes to freshen up, we headed to Time Square. And that was the beginning of our trip. From then on the kids spent the next few days looking up at the tall buildings, taking pictures of everything that they could...statues, buildings, lights, street performers, subway trains, everything that they were amazed to see. It was fun for me to see the amazement in their eyes and to hear them talking about all that they have experienced. But, for me, out of everything we saw, it was the community service and the group I was with that made my second trip to NYC unbelievable. We went with a purpose, not just to see NYC, but to serve. And that is what we did. The memories I will carry with me are of the homeless man I gave food to, the mittens I sewed (yes, I actually sewed mom ;), and the many other youth from FYI that we visited in order to learn about their philanthropic efforts throughout the city. It was great to see other youth outside of our own county, our own state, helping others and making a difference because they want see that passion was just inspiring and actually brought about a feeling of hope. All in all the trip was about respect...respect for each other...respect for our communities...and respect for the world we live in.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Change in Perspective

"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." - Matthew 5:16

365 days of creating a habit! 365 days of opening my heart! 365 days of being led by God and not my own desires! For those of you who might have done some investigative work into my past posts (Hint: October 2005) would have found that last year, at this time, I challenged myself. The challenge was to reach out to someone every day. To stop focusing on my own needs and wants but to change my "outlook" and actually see those around me, friends, family, strangers, and their needs...the ways I could help them...the ways I could be a servant rather than the one expecting to be served. It was last year that I realized that the goals I set for my life were based on ways for me to get praise and recognition when all praise goes to God, the One who works through us. I realized that the valuable thing my life could be used for is to touch just one truly reach out to someone so that they can see and feel the love of Christ.

Out of all the lessons I have learned this past year, the most important lesson has been that of faith and trust in Christ. Each day, He guided my heart and showed me all that I can do for others, with His help. I went into this challenge wondering how I could help others when I don't have many skills, talents, or even an understanding of how I could be used, but He prepared the way each day. Just wait and see...a simple phrase that has been a large part of this experience. Nothing I did throughout the year was planned. I put trust in God that He would show me those opportunities. I had to just wait and see. And it is amazing all I have seen.

I have kept a journal each day of the ways that I reached out to others and as I flip through the pages, I can't do anything but give all the credit to the One who works through me.

It has been 365 days and that is something to celebrate! I know I built up your expectations for this post and sincerely hope you have not been let down, but this year has been amazing. This challenge has been such a large part of my days and something I just had to share with you.

I know a year isn't a long time, and the acts I have done have been small, but I will continue striving to look outside myself every day and reach out to those around me. I will continue trusting in Christ knowing that He is guiding me. I will do all that I can to continue fighting my own selfishness to have a servant heart. And hopefully, one day, God will use me to reach that one heart.

One year down and a lifetime to go!

Monday, October 30, 2006

One Plus

Tomorrow is the day! What could it be? What is so important about tomorrow? Hmmm, I mentioned possibly providing a hint. What can I say that wouldn't give it a way too easily? I guess the only thing I can say is that you all have the opportunity to figure it out if you change your "outlook".

Still don't know....just wait and see...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Four Plus, Three Plus, Two Plus

Yes, I had to combine the countdown since I don't post during the weekend. So I figured this post could cover those days as well. Since it is to cover so many days, I thought I would share with you some guesses from a smart person in my life...guesses that make me smile. So enjoy!

I know, I know. Your bathroom will be finished!!! You will have a dishwasher installed!! An elevator will be put in for me at your house!! Green concrete is being poured so you don't have to mow!! Your garage will be clean?? You are getting cable tv??

I can guarantee that the future post will be on something more important than these, but since it is out in the open...if any of you want to accomplish these tasks for me, just let me know ;)...just kidding.

What could be more important than getting accomplished what is listed above?....Just wait and see...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Five Plus

Well, there have been some more interesting guesses! Though a post on halloween would be interesting and exciting for others, and I am sure you all know how much I "love" halloween (said sarcastically), I can definitely state with confidence, that my upcoming post will not be on halloween ;).

Good guesses that make me laugh! And some of you are trying to get it out of my sis (stay strong Jess! I am counting on you ;). You may think it is impossible to guess what the future post will be about, but I can assure you that it isn't.

Maybe I will give a hint...just wait and see...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Six Plus

I have heard some pretty good and funny guesses so far, particularly from someone whose name I will not mention, but you know who you are ;).

Will I be able to clearly explain?....Just wait and see...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Seven Plus

Did anyone notice that I skipped 8? Don't worry, I can count...sometimes. Thanks to a Melanie, I decided I needed to move up the exciting event by a day because I will be in New York City during the actual momentous occasion. Maybe that was a hint, maybe not...but if by chance you figure it out, congratulations and keep it to yourself ;).

If you still haven't figured it out....just wait and see...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Nine Plus

And the count down begins....

How will I ever be able to put into words? Just wait and see...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Breakthrough news to share with you. Last night I spent the evening with a good friend, ate some good food, and watched an incredible, yet stressful, football game...Go Bears! On my way home I was thinking. Here I enjoyed myself and ended up spending money in the process. Yes, I had a great time. Yes, I would do it again. But what was I really doing? A few weeks ago I shared with you my struggle with tithing and I can't thank each one of you enough for your words, prayers, and encouragement. As an update for you, I did tithe the first week in October. But last night, I realized that I should and that I wanted to tithe more. Here I am enjoying myself and just blessed with all God provides. I spend money here and there, but I have trouble finding money to tithe? I have trouble giving God what is His to begin with? There is just something wrong with that statement. In a way, I have been putting my needs and wants before God. And then making excuses for not being able to tithe. Well, I am done with that. Don't get me wrong, I am still going to enjoy myself, but I am going to give God what is His. So I am going to tithe again this month. And I am excited about this decision. I love realizations like these that really change perspectives...and create outcomes!

Just had to share...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Daily Blessings

Psalm 118:24
This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

My sis has a wonderful blog, entitled daily blessings. It is a blog that shares with us the blessings she sees in her every day life. Today is another Monday, and after my morning routine of dragging myself out of bed, listening to the news, driving to work, and looking at the list on my desk of things I hope to tackle today, her blog came to mind. Why? Because it is another Monday and I caught myself in that Monday mood. You know where you are just "blah" because the weekend is over and you have a whole week before the weekend comes again. So I thought about her blog and thought what better way to get out of this Monday mood then to share the blessings I had this past weekend, but also look forward to the blessings today brings, and tomorrow, and the next day.

First, Friday I had an amazing visit from my sis and Grace at work. They even brought me two dozen cookies ;) and I just loved the surprise visit! Then that evening I spent time with some good friends, enjoying a great dinner, a few haunted houses, and just driving around the area. Saturday I was lucky enough to be able to visit with the Frye's before Amos' football game, then I house sat for a bit ;)...ran a few errands and actually spent time at the park by the lake. Couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day...okay, maybe if it was just a bit warmer! Finished the evening visiting with some wonderful ladies! Sunday included another wonderful church service followed by a little bit of football!

and today....

Well, today's blessings so far include a good conversation with my roommate this morning, having a job I do enjoy, a co-worker bringing in donuts for all of us, the gloves that I remembered to bring today because it is a bit cold in the office ;), a great email from my sister, ....the Bear's game tonight ;), etc....and just the fact that I remembered to think about the blessings in my life...and the blessings that today holds...and tomorrow...and the next day...

Hope you find the time to think about all the blessings in your life! Thanks Jess for that reminder!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Peaceful, Cleansing, Powerful, Energy, Refreshing, Needed, Pure, Movement, ....Satisfying

Monday, October 09, 2006

Every Detail

This weekend was definitely a busy weekend for me. But something happened, that I just had to share! I had the amazing opportunity to enjoy the beautiful day on Friday. After meeting my sister for lunch, I walked around a park taking pictures of the changing leaves, watching people walk by, and just enjoying the nice day. As I was taking pictures, I once again felt small. I was surrounded by large trees that tower over everything. As I focused on a group of leaves intertwined around one of the branches, I felt as one of those leaves, a small part of the big picture. I stood there just looking around at all that surrounded me, and I realized something. Each of those leaves contributes to the beauty of the tree, of the view. Each leaf was different. And that is what amazed me. I was amazed at what God created. He took care of every detail. He took the time to design each of those leaves...and as much care as He took on that landscape, He has taken that much if not more care on each one of us. As small as I felt at that moment, I felt special! I felt cared for! I felt as though I was designed for a purpose!...Because God took care of every detail!

Monday, October 02, 2006

History...Wake Me Up Please...

I have definitely not been one to get excited about history. Occasionally there are a few past events or people that capture my attention, but for the most part, history does not excite me too much. This morning I came to a realization. While studying Joshua, I read the chapters that list in detail, and in length, the distribution of the land the Israelites controlled after the many battles they fought. Chapter after chapter and page after page were names I really couldn't pronounce...which makes it a bit difficult to understand, unless I made some sort of diagram. That is an idea actually, but not really where I am going with this post.

There are few people, such as myself, who enjoy reading the stories of miracles, love, forgiveness, sacrifice....the life of Christ. But when it comes to the nitty gritty parts of the Bible, the family lines and ancestry, the battles, the division of land, etc...I tend to begin to skim, hoping that when I turn the page I get past the "boring" part to an interesting story or adventure. But, I realized I have missed out on a lot by doing this.

I realized as I read the list of kings the Israelites defeated and I read about the division of land, that though I get confused and may not be able to really remember the names, that just as the "miracle" stories, this history is important! I learned about how the Israelites followed God's commands and instructions. I learned about their human fears and doubts. I learned that God delivered their enemies to them so that they may receive the land He had promised. I learned that God is faithful! I learned that God provides! I learned that the Bible is about more than miracles, and all the "interesting" stories, but about love, promises, and history that reveals the past, a past that helps us understand the present and the future!

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever

Monday, September 25, 2006


Trust is such a difficult concept if you really think about it. Sometimes, like love, it is used too liberally...sometimes people just say it without really trusting. Sometimes I say it without really trusting. I don't know, it is just something I have been thinking about this past week. Mostly because I have an area of weakness that I need to face with trust. I have been working on really strengthening my faith...really being open to what God is teaching me, and really striving to give Him total control of my life. I have been learning about all the promises He has fulfilled in the past. I see the wonderful things He is doing in my life and in the world.

Yet, I still haven't been able to tithe.

Yes, through all that I have seen and experienced, I still hold on to my financial situation rather than trusting enough in Christ to give Him what is His. Thankfully, I have some wonderful friends who encourage me. They challenge me by reminding me that it is all about trusting God.

I have a friend who is a parent. And as a loving, caring, parent he/she worries about the safety and security of his/her child. Though I have no idea what it must feel like to be a parent and care for a child, I know that trust must be in Christ.

We all have areas in our life where we are weak in trusting in Christ. So I share this with you not only to hold myself more accountable, but as as a challenge.

How much do you trust God with?

One day, I hope my actions and my response to this question will be....EVERYTHING!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Love My Girls!

It is amazing how friendships work! Last night my great friends (two who I met in college and my sis) and I gathered together for a wonderful dinner! We usually try to get together as much as possible to catch up and to just spend time with each other. We have so many wonderful memories together and I know there are many more ahead. I just couldn't wait to just share how thankful I am to have these ladies in my be able to get support each other's growing families and to keep that friendship going strong!

Dina is such an amazing listener who gives such comforting and loving hugs and who will do anything she can for someone. Ang speaks straight from her heart and has to be one of the most genuine and sincere ladies I know. Jess, what have I not said about her yet? :)...just a beautiful lady inside and out. Last night was really the first night the daughters came...and to watch them grow and interact was something that really was wonderful to see. We all support each other. We are more than just friends, but family!....and for that I am thankful!

I love my girls!

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Last night was the first choir practice for the year. We all gathered together once again to sing songs that describe God's love and the praises we have for Him. Before choir, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner provided by a Sunday school class and Jess and I talked together as I prepared a little for teaching Sunday school class on Sunday. It was a great night. But as I looked around, I saw more than just friends and my church family, I saw LEADERS.

You see, a church can not survive with just a minister, pastor, priest...etc. If that is all a church needed, who would sing in the choir? Who would sing in the worship team? Who would teach sunday school? Who would prepare the dinners so families can eat together before participating in Wednesday night church activities? Who would decorate the alter table? Who would greet the members and new visitors? Who would make the bulletins? Who would keep the church clean? Who would support the missionaries? Who would work with the youth and children of the church? Who would reach out to others in the community? Who would take care of the finances? And the list goes on.

It took me a bit to figure out how I could be involved in the church, not just attend, but actually be a part of the church. I have heard congregations complain about different aspects of their church and some just want certain programs, etc...but who is going to take initiative and make things happen? Will it be you? My parents are ministers and I know they can't do it all. They already do so much for the church and it is time that we realize that we all can be LEADERS of a church in one way or another.

So I thank the ministers of the church for their leadership, the deacons, the choir members, the worship team, the committee members of all the committees that exist, the Sunday school teachers, the greeters, the custodians, those who prepare food, those who perform skits, those who operate the sound board, and the many others who share their skills and talents with the church. Thank you for being LEADERS so that the church can be a church that is actually a group of people gathering together in the name of Christ, rather than a church of one.

Friday, September 08, 2006


No matter what she says, her eyes say it all. They express the love she feels for others and the encouragement, excitement, and comfort she has. She speaks from the heart. She is one of the people in my life who supports me and encourages me, in all the areas of my life. She challenges me in my walk of faith, my vulnerability, my attitude, my humility, etc. No matter how small a step I take, she is there cheering me on. Together we praise God for all He as done and continues to do in our lives and all around us. Her support, love, and encouragment is definitely a blessing in my life. She is my sister and my friend.

As much as I appreciate the support and love she provides, I would be mistaken to give her all the credit. That love that she shares, that encouragement and support that she expresses, comes from God. She lets Him work through her. She lets His love shine through her.

Just as I can not give her all the credit, I too can not take all the credit for the successess I have had or will have, for they would not exist without the love and support of God. As we learned this past Tuesday, He is faithful and steadfast!

Without the support and love of God, of family (like twin sisters and amazing parents!), of friends, of someone who really believes in us, where would we be? What would we accomplish? They are the ones lifting us up, challenging us, loving us!

Have you taken the time to thank those who support you?

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Yesterday was just a beautiful day!...and several of us made sure to enjoy it. Once again I spent the evening with some good friends out on the lake. Of course the one time I don't bring my camera with me, Jamie does an amazing job going outside of the wake. I can't wait to capture that moment the next time we go out. Brian did a great job, as I am sure he always does. You can definitely tell this wasn't his first time doing any sort of water sport.
Amos just amazes me with all he can do. He even gets out there with a sore ankle! I of course was the spotter for the evening...what I do best!....also, watching and learning, which is important to do before actually trying to board again. Jess and Grace kept us entertained. Their company is something that I truly enjoy! So it was definitely a day to celebrate!

Celebrate beautiful days! Celebrate opportunities! Celebrate successes! Celebrate times with friends and family!

*Since I didn't take my camera with me yesterday, the pictures were from labor day.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

No Greater Love...

Love was all around me this weekend. As it surrounded me, I really began to think about its complexity and began to see what love could be in its true form. Let's first get past the misconceptions. I am not talking about lust, convenience, comfortability, settling, fear of independence, or any of the other excuses people mistake as love. I am talking about real love, the love that sees another person's heart and loves them as the special person God created them to be. Love that lifts each person up and allows them to work together to accomplish more than they could ever do on their own. Love that celebrates individuality and unity. Love that sacrifices, encourages, strengthens every day and is founded on the perfect example of love that exists...the Love of Christ! In a world of divorces, of cheating, of unfaithfulness, of games, and of talk shows that never seem to run out of guests who need paternity or lie detector tests, does that real love exist today? The answer is YES!

Just this past sunday my parents held a beautiful church service that incorporated the celebration of a couple's 50th wedding anniversary. Still today, through the tears, through their embrace of each other, through the touch of their hands and the way they looked at each other, you could feel their love...the love that has been the foundation of their 50 years of marriage and the love that washed over their family as they surrounded the couple.

God has to be at the heart of this love. His sacrifice for us...His love for us is much deeper than the love we could have for anyone, but His example allows us to see what true love is about and teaches us how to truly love Him and one another. His love for us provides an endless supply of love that we can share...a love that He wants us to share.

In Hemingway's book, A Farewell to Arms, a priest describes what it means to love God and others. He states, "When you love you wish to do things for. You wish to sacrifice for. You wish to serve." What an amazing love, to be truly open, giving, to serve!...and to love with all that is within you, not holding back.

All I know is that I am not going to settle. I want the foundation of any relationship to have that strong foundation of Christ...His love...and my love for Him. So I look forward and wait patiently for the true love of and for a gentleman that may be in store, being completely satisfied and filled with the love I have for Christ and the love He fills my heart with.

For there is no Greater Love...Example...Foundation...than Christ!

Matthew 22:37
Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Many of you know how uncomfortable I get speaking in front of groups of people. Unfortunately, that happens to be part of my job throughout the year. Tonight I am holding one of my proposal workshops, and yes, I still get nervous and a bit terrified, though I have already done several of these presentations before. I usually can't wait until it is over. I talk fast, and I stumble over words. But even though my presentation isn't as smooth as I had planned, I still feel that those who come do learn something about proposal writing, atleast that is my hope. So where am I going with this story? Lately, I have been thinking about my weaknesses. The question of my ability to accomplish something, occasionally enters my thoughts. I am not down on myself at all, just realizing what my weaknesses are and wondering how can I accomplish what God sets before me?

I have begun studying Joshua. I have been captivated by the first few chapters, chapters of God fulfilling His promise to the Israelites. The chapters that once again reveal God's power and His presence. Normally, I would just share one scripture verse that moved me, but I cannot do that in this case...because the following verses work together to show me how God is with us and can work through us.

Joshua 3:5-17, states: Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you." Joshua said to the priests, "Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people." So they took it up and went ahead of them. And the LORD said to Joshua, "Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: 'When you reach the edge of the Jordan's waters, go and stand in the river.' "
Joshua said to the Israelites, "Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God. This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD -the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap." So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea [
b] ) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.

What power! This is as far as I read this morning, so I am anxious to read further. But this scripture really spoke to me. Why do I let my weaknesses define my capabilities, when I am not alone, when God is with me? Even my strengths are from God. If God can divide waters, move mountains, transform hearts and lives, why do I forget that He can work through my weaknesses so that I, with His help, can accomplish all that He calls me to do?

He is God! God is with me!

So I strive to not run from His call. I strive to not doubt His power. I strive to give all praise to Him.

I strive to be OPEN to God and His work in my life, having a faith that conquers all doubt and all fear and relies only on Him so that I may answer His call with courage and strength.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Amazing Weekend!

Have you ever had one of those weekends, where you just looked back on it and realized that you really used each minute to its greatest advantage? This weekend was just one of those times, where it just was amazing, productive, and just full of new experiences!

You see, this weekend there was some stuff that I had hoped to get accomplished...mowing the lawn, laundry, working on my proposal workshop, organizing my photos so that I can finally have my coffee table back, etc.

Let me tell you what I did instead.

Friday night I spent time with two wonderful ladies. We of course got some delicious coffee :), ate some great food...and walked around Winona Lake...ending the night by watching a movie. I had such a great time talking to these ladies and just getting to know more about them. So thanks Jamie and Sarah for your great company!

Saturday, I visited with one of my very good friends and her beautiful daughter. Though Ang, Addison, and Brad live only an hour a way, I still never make it out there to visit them as much as I could. So Saturday I decided was the day to change that. I had a great conversation with Ang where I learned how her days were spent and shared what I have been up to. And of course I got to play with my other very adorable niece Addison. I definitely couldn't get enough of her so I left my coffee cup behind only so I would have to turn around and see her again ;). Okay, so really I just forgot it and had to turn around to go back and get it...but I was able to see Ang and Addikins again and that was well worth it!

Later that night, I attended the monthly Sunday School party hosted by the Frye's. There we had some great food and had a pretty challenging yard game tournament. Challenging because it was getting dark and started to sprinkle towards the end, which made bowlingket (aka corn hole), bocci ball, and horse shoes pretty challenging. Though Dustin and I pretty much prevailed in the events, Jamie and Brian were lucky enough to win the fantastic prizes the Frye's provided. Of course we all regressed in age and played with the prizes in the house, but that was the fun of it all. At 11:30pm, after a rousing game of cranium and settlers, three of the gentleman took a swim in the lake and I took my walk in the rain.

Sunday, after another good church service, Melanie and I met our class of Sunday School students and then joined our own class for the ending of our current study. I then spent the rest of the day and evening with Jamie, Jess, Amos, and Grace out on the boat and then just having great conversation eating fried green tomatoes and homemade applesauce! I wakeboarded for the first time, or shall I say...I was dragged by the boat for the first time, but couldn't have felt more at ease without the wonderful support from the Fryes and Jamie.

I just had an amazing weekend, and though I didn't get to all that I had hoped to, I am so thankful to God for the opportunities I had to spend with such great friends. I am so thankful to God for the opportunities to have new experiences. But mostly, I am thankful to God for helping me see the amazing people around me and the amazing experiences awaiting...all which were more important than organizing some pictures or mowing the lawn (which I do need to get too ;)

Just an Amazing weekend from an Amazing God.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

One More Thing...

We are having a staff birthday lunch today as well....tostadas and snickerdoodles! Why do I get so excited about food?...probably, because it all is pretty much delicious!

Hope you get excited about the little things in life! And hope your day is full of many wonderful surprises!

What a truly wonderful Thursday!


It stormed last night and is still raining this morning. Isn't that exciting? Yes, I had to keep my jeep top up this week, but I just love the rain. It is actually supposed to rain the rest of the week, rain that I have heard we need. So you will probably find me walking outside or sitting on my porch reading as the storms continue to pass. Anyone is welcome to join me.

Have I mentioned how much I love storms? What an amazing Thursday!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Why is it that we remember the things people do that hurt us or that we don't agree with more than we remember the good times we share and all that they do right in "our eyes"? It makes forgiving difficult as we hold on to those negative memories.

Recently, I was asked about forgiveness, which is definitely something I had to deal with...a challenge of mine that I faced...and still do face on occasion. I think we all do. But I can only speak for myself. In this blog, I have talked about my past...been open and honest about times in my life...and struggles that I still face. Why? Because I need to be honest with myself and with you. Because I can only speak on what I know, and what I know is me. So get ready for some honesty.

I could chose a scripture verse to share with you that deals specifically with forgiveness and judgement. But there is a verse that I came across in 1Samuel, that really showed me a different perspective...a different way to think of forgiveness.

1Samuel 16:7
The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

I know this verse is not speaking about forgiveness, but it made me really think about forgiving. Because forgiveness deals a lot with the way we look at each other. How? Have you ever taken the time to really get to know the people in your life, to understand each one of them as individuals, to get to the "heart" of who they are...not putting any preconceived notions on them or stereotypes...not putting them on a scale of standards they should meet? Or do you just notice a few of their qualities that are similar to yours and automatically assume that you know them, understand them, know what you would do if you were them or in their situation?

I had come to the realization a while ago that I had put expectations on those around me. Expectations that go beyond seeing the person they are and could become, but expecting them to think like me or act like me....sometimes even putting higher standards on them, than the standards I put on myself. I didn't take the time to UNDERSTAND them... to see them as individuals or UNDERSTAND where they were coming from. So when I felt hurt by something they said or did or felt that they made a mistake, I began to "JUDGE" them more and more, holding on to the mistakes they made, seeing only their "physical" aspects and actions rather than looking into their heart, as God looks into our hearts to see who we really are. He sees past our own flaws and sees the heart of us, the special and unique ones he created us to be.

Literally, one morning, I woke up early just tired of it all. Tired of holding on to grudges, tired of judging...because it all was filling my heart leaving no room for the Father of Forgiveness, the one who wants to take it all from us if we just let him. So right then and there I gave it all to him, all of it...forgiving those who didn't even ask for forgiveness, just letting all of it go so that He could fill my heart, so His love could fill my heart, so that when He looked past my physical features and my imperfections, He could finally see the heart He created with a purpose to love and praise, not to judge.

Who am I to judge? For I am only human, I too make mistakes, and I too need to be forgiven. Thankfully, Christ has given us the gift of forgiveness. He sees our hearts. So I strive to look into the hearts of others, I strive to truly forgive from the heart, and I strive to share with others the love, mercy, and grace that God fills my heart with every day.

Monday, August 21, 2006

And So It Begins....

The eight of us gathered together Sunday evening, not really certain how things would go or what outcome we would have, but we came with plans. The atmosphere was light and the room was filled with the smell of candles that were burning throughout the house. We spent the evening laughing, thinking, wondering, hoping, encouraging, and just anxiously awaiting our turn to speak...our turn to say the one name we would hope to say before it was snatched away by someone else...the one name we hoped we could even pronounce correctly ;). And so it begins...

Football season has officially started and we definitely had one of the most interesting drafts last night. It was actually one of the most enjoyable times I have had during a draft. We didn't argue with each other, though there was the occasional boo from my sister and me as we heard players called that we didn't care for :). But for the most part, the draft went smoothly and we even helped each other pick players. There was no time limit and we just kept it light. One of the participants even offered to forgo the team she was going to choose to let someone else have them. I definitely haven't seen that happen before :).

I know the competitiveness of some of us will begin to appear throughout the season, but I know I enjoyed the company I was with last night and I am anxious to see how the season plays out. I am excited to root for my team of players who I would say have "unusual" names, which of course was my strategy ;), but I will definitely be laughing and having fun as I root for them throughout the season, hoping that with one of my players I will know how to pronounce his name correctly by the end of it all :).

So I wish each one of you luck and am just so grateful to experience such a new experience with each one of you. I think we will learn a lot and am just ready to watch some football!

So let the season begin...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I just received a wonderful email from my sister today. This is her first day back to work after our vacation, and she has such a great attitude. She is just so full of thanks today. And so am I! I know exactly how she is feeling. I don't know what makes today different than any other day. I don't know why I am noticing all the blessings I have in my life. When I look around at all that I have, it is so apparent that it is more than I ever need. Honestly, it makes me want to just get rid of so make life share with others everything I have. You know that scripture verse that talks about giving up everything and following Christ? That is something I have been thinking a lot about. I mean to give up could one do that? It is such a scarey thought...but lately it has been something exciting as well. Exciting to have such a faith to really take that step and give up everything to follow the call of Christ. I don't know...I don't even know what I am called to do, but I really desire to reach that level of conquer the doubt and fear that I see beyond the happiness I feel now to be filled only by the immeasurable happiness and love that can be found in Christ.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Back To Reality...

What an amazing vacation! I was in the company of great friends and many cultures...and even had time to myself. It was a vacation that definitely went too fast, but one where I enjoyed every minute. One of the amazing things that I enjoyed, besides spending some time with the Hahn's at the Mayan ruins of Tulum and eating some of their salsa :), was my time to myself in the mornings...especially when my loving sister trusted me enough to actually be by myself :)....I do love your protective nature though Jess :). I woke up all but one morning to watch the sunrise and to read. It was a great way to start the day, even though it only meant getting 4 hours of sleep a night. Some mornings were cloudy, but still the sunrise was beautiful and the mornings were peaceful. Another wonderful moment took place throughout the entire trip. Being the only single one in the group I had the unique opportunity to observe the wonderful couples I traveled with. Not only did they include me in everything, but I was able to watch them interact as couples. Each couple showing love and affection in different ways and each couple just enjoying their time and experience together. It was just nice seeing how well they complement each other. Now the vacation is over and it is back to reality. But really not much has changed. Besides missing the endless supply of food :), I am still surrounded by these amazing couples, the sun rises every morning and is just as beautiful here, and the cultures are still out there ready for me to experience. I guess vacation just opened my eyes a little more to see what is all around me...even here at home.
Of course I have pictures of this wonderful vacation. See Below...and enjoy!


I have about 105 more snapshots, but thought these few would give you just a taste of the fun we all had together!

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Happiness! Love! Compassion! Friendship! Support! Encouragement! Faith! Respect! Family...and the list goes on!

This is what I feel when I am around Amos and Jess! This is what I see when they look at each other or hear each other's names. These are the words that best describe what I sense when I think of their love...their marriage...even when no words are spoken.

It is the kind of love that leaves me SPEECHLESS!

Happy 5 year anniversary (August 11th)! God has blessed you richly by bringing you two together and creating such an amazing love!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Undivided Heart

Distractions are everywhere! We can get caught up in all the wonderful things that surround us. We have the love of family and friends that is so intimate that they seem to be all we need. Money and power can be addicting. Possessions become desires and necessities. We can even become obsessed with people we admire or look up to. I am definitely susceptible to many of these distractions. In the past I got lost in them. I lost my focus and turned these distractions from something I just obsessions. I loved so much and so many things that no matter what the next thing I desired was, my heart was empty. My heart was divided, and honestly I can't say that God had a piece. But still He never left...He was always there. He broke me down and helped me see that the intimacy I seek and the One I long to be devoted to is Him. No matter what item, person, dream I focused on, nothing was going to fill that void. My heart was missing the only focus I needed...Christ.

Why am I being so honest? Because today I came to the realization that it is so easy to head in that direction again. If I can't admit this, than I would just be in denial. I would just be pretending that I haven't made mistakes and that I couldn't make those same mistakes again. There has been something I desired for the past week or so, but as I thought about it today, I realized that it had become a distraction. It distracted me by not giving this desire to God, until today. Today I caught myself and remembered that God is in control and that He is the desire of my heart.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy many things and enjoy the many blessings God gives, but I need to remain focused on Him and let Him be what my heart desires...knowing that no matter what wonderful blessings come my way, my heart is His. So I hold myself accountable and share with you this fault, praying that I have an undivided heart, one that only seeks, loves, focuses, and is devoted to Christ.

Psalm 86:11
Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Please Provide the Words...

Psalm 19:14
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Lately, I have started reading the classics that I have not yet had the opportunity to read. I am definitely not a fast reader, but I just couldn't put down the book, To Kill a Mockingbird (as I finished it in two days), and I am finding Pride and Prejudice just as captivating. As I read, I find myself unconsciously imagining the images that the words describe. I find myself living in that moment and some how feeling the emotions that exist between the characters. What a talent these authors have to be able to invoke images and feelings through something as simple as words.

Words are part of our day to day life...yet, I never really took the time to grasp their importance and the messages and emotions they help us express. I am amazed at those who have the talent to write and speak clearly, to use words in a way that captures our attention and thoroughly explains the messages they are trying to get across. I am not one of those people. I find myself talking in circles adding the occassional dreaded words that show my nervousness...words such as "um"..and "you know" ;). Even when I write, I am unable to really express the emotions I have behind the words. If that even makes sense ;). But I continue to try.

I am thinking more and more about the words I use now....the words I use to make connections with others and develop friendships, the words I use to express emotions, the words I use to tell a story, the words I use to make someone laugh, the words I use to express love, the words I use to share who I am...and to share my faith. Why is this so important to me? Because lately, God has been using me to share with others my journey back to Him. And no matter how hard I try, I cannot find the words that can clearly explain this journey and the emotional shift that took place. So I stutter through it, wishing I had that skill that others have of finding the perfect words to use. I try to just give this awkwardness and uncertainty of speaking and writing to God praying that He please provide the words...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Let's Get Lost

After a great lunch, we would all pile into the car. Dad would ask what direction we all wanted to go, and mom would answer with no destination in mind. Mom and dad would be in casual conversation while Jess and I giggled in the back...either teasing each other or thinking of the many mischievous ways we could occupy our time...when we weren't sleeping of course. This is how we spent our saturday or sunday afternoons. Jess and I referred to this time as getting lost. We would spend hours just driving down country roads following dad's sense of direction. We would end up finding small towns, discovering new places, and just seeing new areas that were hidden on those country roads. We would stop and walk around...popping into country stores and maybe picking up a small snack and one of those glass-bottled cokes that were the greatest finds. I always thought that it was amazing that we would eventually find our way home. But, now I have a feeling that mom and dad always knew how to get home. There was something so special about that time together. We didn't really have deep conversations or spend a lot of money, but it was a simple way for us to spend time get away for a while. Even to this day I love getting lost though it isn't the same as when I was younger. There is no giggling in the back. I can't hear my parents discussing the day's events. Jess isn't teaching me how to draw hearts and stars with crayons on the back of the front seats. Instead, my time getting lost is filled with good music and great conversation with the one who chooses to get lost with me. Those who know me, definitely know I am not a decision maker. But if you asked me what I would like to do, I can guarantee that in the back of my mind I am thinking...."Let's Get Lost!"

Monday, July 24, 2006

Use Me!

Yes, I am actually praying to be used. Sometimes I look at who I am. I think about how small I am...and how uncoordinated I am sometimes ;). I think about the amount of time it takes me to comprehend something...and all the information I still don't understand and may never understand. I think about the circumstances I have been through and all the struggles I faced...and all the wrong decisions I made along the way. And out of all of that I can't help but ask the questions...what can God possibly see in me?...How can He use me? When I hear about all that is going on in the world....when I am in a crowd of people and feel overwhelmed, my eyes are open to the vastness that exists...and I begin to think...what can I do?

This weekend, I came across the scripture about the body of Christ. As I began to read each word, I began to realize, that though I am weak in areas, God is with me and has created me for a purpose. I may not know what that purpose is but I do know that I am a work in progress and that I am a part of the body of Christ and can do all things by letting Him use body, my mind, and my heart.

I look at my hands, and though small, they can reach out to others. They can hold someone up. They can help carry burdens. They can create something for someone. They can show love through touch. I look at my legs and know that I can run to someone who needs me. I can walk with someone who needs to talk. I can chase my neice around creating a bond with her as she laughs with the anticipation of being caught. My eyes allow me to see the good in people. They allow me to see the needs of a community. They are eyes that allow me to connect with others just by making eye contact. They allow me to show emotion. My ears listen to the joys and concerns of those around me. My mouth can speak words of comfort, hope, love. My heart is open. My heart feels, cares, loves, hopes, heart is vulnerable. It is vulnerable to allow others in, to allow Christ to work in me, to be open to all those around me.

1 corinthians 12:27
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

I may not be much, but I can be used. I pray that God uses me to fulfill His will....I pray that He uses all of me...for I am a part of the body of Christ! We all are a part of the body of Christ...and isn't that exciting?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I know my sister tends to drift off when I am sharing recent news headlines and stories with her. Not because she doesn't care, but because I seem to share everything I read with her and she has an amazing heart that tends to ache for those she hears about, though she doesn't know them. A lot of people tend to avoid the news or what is going on in the rest of the world because they believe that it is all just depressing. I admit it. A lot of what I read in the news tends to be on the negative side.
But there are those uplifting stories that tend to be a nice break. They are the articles that provide hope. You know the stories of a community that has come together to support and provide for a family who just faced a fire. The stories of a youth group that raised money for a particular cause. Or the stories of a school that came together to create a memorial garden for students and teachers who have passed away.
Maybe it is the position I am in or the field I work in, but keeping up with the news, though negative most times, allows me to see the needs that still exist. I truly believe that if it weren't for some of these heartbreaking stories, some wonderful things wouldn't have developed. People wouldn't know about the fire that destroyed a family, and a community wouldn't have come together. Youth wouldn't know of any causes to support. We wouldn't be able to see the positive actions that take place in our own communities.
I don't really have anything special to reveal through this random post. Just want to thank you for reading and hope that you know what is going on in the world and maybe think about what you can do to help. The news is a reflection of life...there are bad times...but there are good times...and it all is worth going through as active participants.

Monday, July 17, 2006


How blessed I am to have such amazing friends in my life!. I could take this time telling you all the stories and conversations that took place this weekend with my visit to the Evansville area to spend time with friends I really haven't seen since junior high. But it wasn't what we did or what we talked about that made the visit so amazing. It was the people I spent time with that made it unforgetable, because they are unforgetable. Let me introduce you to some amazing individuals.

Jennifer is a beautiful person who welcomes you and makes you feel like you are family. She has accomplished so much. She is humble. She is funny...always making me laugh. She is strong. She is caring. She is determined. She is just amazing. Jessica is beautiful as well. She too has accomplished so much and values friendships, family, and relationships. She shows interest in all that is around her and understands the importance of having fun and living life. She is smart and loving and just an amazing woman and friend. John is someone I was lucky enough to finally get to know better. He is such a supportive husband to Jennifer. He is so personable. It felt like we had known each other for a long time. He shows interest in others. He is the master of the grill and of magic. He has so many skills and talents that I was just in awe. There were interactions with others that I will never forget as well...Jennifer and Jessica's parents...who are just wonderful parents and just seem so knowledgeable in many areas that it is easy to see the amazing influence they have had on their daughters. There were also great times with other friends that, though short, were memorable as well. I know I will never be able to capture just how special all these individuals are in words, but they are in my heart and for that I am thankful!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Where did they go?

The other day I received a letter in the mail. Surprisingly, it wasn't a bill, a once in a lifetime amazing credit card offer, or a letter informing me that interest rates will soon be increasing and if I haven't consolidated my school loans yet, now is the time. Yes, an actual letter...handwritten and everything. It wasn't a long one, but it was a from a friend who thought she would literally write to me. As I read it I imagined where she was sitting and how she probably talked out loud as she wrote it, because that is just how she is :)...and I love that about her. She even picked out stationary that had a map in the upper right hand corner because she knows how much I love to travel. It was such an amazing surprise...a surprise that made me wonder where all the letters have gone. It has been a long time since I received an actual handwritten letter. Don't get me wrong, I love the fast way to communicate via email and phone, etc....but there was something so personal about this letter. I appreciated the time she took to sit down and write about how her and her family were doing. I appreciated the special touches and the even the mistakes she scratched out. I actually tried to remember the last "personal" touch I shared with someone. I think it has been too long. So as I am facing this busy day and rest of the week and weekend, maybe I will take a break and just sit and write. gotta love those special moments and personal touches!

Monday, July 03, 2006


My sister just recently commented on the idea of being thankful for all we are blessed with...that sometimes we can get caught up in our own struggles and challenges causing us to lose sight of all we have. This weekend was definitely a weekend of thanks and rejuvenation. If anything, I spent the weekend thanking God for the wonderful people in my life and for the amazing opportunities that are in front of me. Every morning I say to Him, that my life is His to use. I pray that He will fulfill His passion and desires through me...and that I have the patience and strength to listen and follow. Every day I make that choice to give control to Him, to give my life to Him. This weekend while camping, I had those moments where I just felt filled...filled with love...filled with strength...filled with hope...and filled with excitement. I had time to reflect and genuinely be grateful for each moment. Who would have thought camping would be so uplifting. Maybe it was the smell of the campfire. Maybe it was all the laughter that took place. Maybe it was the good food and the good company. Maybe it was being surrounded by nature...and getting back to the simplicity of life. All I know is that things came into focus and though I don't know the direction my life will take, things seemed clear. That peace, that excitement, that love, and that clarity can only come from God. I am thankful He is with me.

What an amazing camping trip...

Monday, June 26, 2006

102 Just Isn't Enough...

This weekend was extraordinary! My sister is the one who is so good at summarizing particular events, but I just wanted to share my thanks. Thanks to the Fervida's for hosting such a wonderful weekend and for providing so much. I truly enjoyed the great conversations, the time spent with good friends, and just the many interactions that took place this weekend. It was a weekend that I will never forget, especially with the many pictures I couldn't help but take. Here are just a few of the 102 pictures...that's right...102. But as the title suggests, 102 pictures just isn't enough to capture the amazing time we all had.