Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mister Penguin!

Oh, how the song, Mister Penguin, takes me back to the days when I began taking piano lessons. Mister Penguin was the first song I played. I can still hear its simple melody as if I had just learned it yesterday.

That is because it was practically yesterday. Yes! That's right! I am now taking piano lessons! I actually had my first lesson on Sunday...and am being taught by the one and only Mrs. Hahn. That is how I probably should refer to her since she is my teacher now.

I had a great time as I learned about different intervals and octaves. And even begin to play a bit. I know I am not going to be the greatest pianist or anything, but I am excited to learn this instrument. I enjoyed this lesson with Mrs. Hahn and am so very thankful for the time she is taking to teach me. She is a great instructor and an even better friend!

Thank you Mrs. Hahn (Alicia ;). I am playing Mister Penguin loud and proud! And Yankee Doodle is coming along great! Ha! Well, I better get to practicing!

I hope you all keep learning! It is never too late!

Monday, January 28, 2008

About 20 Days Later...

But it was still quite the celebration!

It was our annual Kings Day Party...Día De Los Reyes Fiesta! Though this usually is celebrated at the beginning of January, when trying to get college friends all over northern indiana together, you have to go with the date that works best for everyone!

Therefore, the party took place on Saturday. We didn't put out our shoes filled with hay for the wisemen's camels, but we did spend the night enjoying some great mexican food! And what fiesta is complete without a battle of the sexes game of pictionary!

A huge thanks to Jess for her wonderful and very helpful cooking skills as we spent the day cooking for the party. Thanks to Amos, Grace, and Tyler for helping keep the house clean, and making me laugh the entire night. Thanks to Dina for being a kid herself and spoiling the kids! Thanks to Brad, Ang, Addie, and Ethan for great conversation, good visit, and just the wonderful time I always have with you. Thanks to Scott and Sarah, not only for the amazing brownies, but for the fun times we share!

I love you all and am so grateful to share such a wonderful celebration with each one of you every year!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Unlocked Doors

Those who I am close with know the paradox I face in regards to entering the mission field long term. And that paradox was confirmed last night as I listened to the Hardenbrooks share their own story as they begin their journey to Sudan. The excitement and passion fills their hearts, but to say goodbye to their family and friends is a challenge, a struggle at times. Yet, through it all, they know it is what they are called to do and that God has and will continue to provide that strength.

Throughout their presentation they made a call for others to join them in this journey. And my heart was filled with hope. I listened intently, eager to learn more about the initiative, and anxious to consider this an opportunity.

But taking that next step means putting things in motion. It is no longer a thought, a dream, a desire...something to face down the road. Instead, it is about the present...moving forward knowing that no matter how challenging the path might be, God is with me and I am not alone.

I sat there going back and forth about whether I should talk to them about my interest in being a part of this initiative. And at the moment that I began to let my fear in taking this step get to me, a member of my church family approached me to let me know that he thought of me during this presentation and has been praying for my guidance. And then another member informed me that he and his wife have been praying for me and that they were so glad to see that I came to hear this presentation. What struck me is that none of these members knew of my desire to enter the mission field, and yet they prayed for me.

So I approached the Hardenbrooks to share my interest. They were very grateful and asked for my contact information. They even provided some great advice on where to attend some mission trainings. I will continue to pray for guidance. And whether God leads me to Sudan or another part of Africa, I trust in Him. I took that next step.

I do struggle at times discerning God's call, but have learned that He does not do it all for us. He unlocks the doors and it is up to us to have the faith to open them.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Wrapped In Love...

I have mentioned before just how rich I am. Not because I own all the latest gadgets, the expensive clothes, the fancy house, or the next great thing that is out on the market. For I have more than I could ever want and need in the love I find in my friends and family. When I have searched for encouragement, support, love, and hope, God wraps His arms around me and shows me that I am not alone. I can't count the many times God has used Matt and Alicia to show His love. For they have become family to me. And my life is richer for that. They have shown me that no matter how much you give, love never runs out.

You see, everyday Matt and Alicia give of themselves. They show love through teaching, through coaching, through leadership, through the interaction they have with each other and others. And now they are in the process of blessing another life with their love, through adoption.

The waiting process isn't always easy, and so all of us who have been touched by this couple wanted them to be wrapped in love...

We wanted them to feel the encouragement and support...the love that they have graciously shown us. We united together to share messages of encouragement. We worked together to create a quilt of hope. We gave financially to help provide support. And we came together to celebrate the love we all have to share.

Thank you Matt and Alicia for being an example of love to many! I am excited for this next step in your life. I don't know when things will take place, but I do know that God's timing is perfect. Just as you will be blessed with a child, I know this child will be very blessed with your love!

Thank you everyone for your assistance with the Wrapped in Love Project. Your words, your donations, your support made all of this possible! Thank you for sharing your love!

1 Thessalonians 3:12
May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

In His Presence...

Saturday, I had the complete honor to serve as a bridesmaid for an incredible friend of mine.

I must first share how blessed I have been to know Sarah. You see, Sarah and I have developed quite the friendship over the course of a year or so. She has inspired me with her experience in missions. She has encouraged me as we talk about where life is leading. She has just taken the time to listen to anything I need to share. And I enjoy anytime we have together, whether it is talking over some good coffee or even traveling together. She is such a special person and God has blessed my life with her friendship.

God has blessed both Chris and Sarah with the love they have for each other and many of us gathered together to celebrate that love. To see them together, is to see the great amount of love that exists. You see the respect they have for each other and how much they appreciate the uniqueness of one another. Chris has become a good friend to me and it has been such a pleasure getting to know him. With the compassion they have for others, I can only imagine the lives they will continue to touch with their love.

And in His presence...they were united!

Thank you my beautiful friend for allowing us all the honor to be a part of this wonderful moment.

May God continue to bless you two and your marriage!

For He has such great plans for you! Love ya lots...M.E.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Walk In The Rain

How easy the rain came. How fast it came and how hard it rained. Have you ever had those moments in life that just open your eyes and you know you will never be the same? Have you ever been acutely aware of how truly difficult it can be sometimes to say, no matter what is thrown at me I will not waiver in my walk with Christ? I will not retreat.

I think we all face those times. We have those times that set us back, that make us question, that make us worry, that bring pain, that make us aware of just how human we are and how difficult life can be. So what do we do?

Some of us retreat to a place where we feel safe, maybe build that wall around us that we tried so hard to finally break down. Some of us turn from what we know, question why we ever believed in the first place, and try to run for find protection from the rain.

But I choose to walk in the rain. I choose to stay on my walk, vulnerable and open to Him. I choose to walk, not run, but walk with God who leads me on.

And I find the peace walking in the rain...

Thursday, January 03, 2008


A beautiful welcome to 2008!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 and Always...

Happy New Year everyone! As I rang in the New Year with friends and family, I thought about what 2008 might be like...and the words to the following song filled my heart...

Jesus, be my center
Be my source, be my light, Jesus

Jesus, be my center
Be my hope, be my song, Jesus

Be the fire in my heart
Be the wind in these sails
Be the reason that I live
Jesus, Jesus

Jesus, be my vision
Be my path, be my guide, Jesus

I don't know what the next year holds, but I know with Christ in control I will be doing His will. Some important decisions have been made and I will follow where He leads.

May He be your center in 2008 and always!