Monday, December 21, 2009


"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me."  2 Corinthians 12:9

When I am at my lowest, God is with me.  I may feel as if I am completely alone, utterly abandoned, and yet He never leaves me.  Even when I am faithless, God is faithful.  He is my strength when I am weak, my joy when I am desperate, my peace when I'm afraid.  Why does my heart not understand this?  I know it to be true and yet I cannot seem to rely on it as I should.  The journey is a long one.  God doesn't just wave a wand over our lives and poof everything is as it should be.  Rather, He allows us to participate in our sanctification.  It hurts.  Frankly, it sometimes stinks.  I don't always believe that He will work all things for my good and His glory though I know it to be true.  Daily I must be reminded.  Daily I have to pray.  Oh that I would say with Paul that I will  "boast all the ore gladly about my weakness" that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  I might be able to one day, though I'm not sure if it will be in this world or the next.  For now I fall at the foot of the cross, crying out that my strength is not sufficient.  Maybe that's where I always need to be.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Five Books of 2009

I got this idea from Brian Franklin's blog and thought it was great!  These are my favorite books of 2009.  They aren't all that deep or philosophical, but I'm proud to have finished a few and the rest were just fun!  Leave your top five as well!

1.)  The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
The discussion of revenge in this book is quite interesting.
While I did not agree so much with the conclusion, I very
much enjoyed reading the story.

2.) Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
I tried reading this once in high school
and failed.  For some reason I found it 
difficult.  This time around it really made 
sense.  His practicality and theology 
are so rich.  I would recommend it to anyone

3.)  Emma by Jane Austin
With her witty dialogue and satire
Jane Austin never fails to keep my attention.
Emma had me laughing out loud almost
every time I read it.

4.)Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper
Another second timer, Don't Waste Your Life
has a lot of good things to say.  I will probably
read it again though as I was struggling with 
insomnia quite a bit this time and didn't absorb
all of it.  However, I still found it inspiring.

5.)Fer de Lance by Rex Stout
I love mysteries.  My favorite author so far 
is actually Harlan Coben, he never fails to 
shock me with the conclusion, but I just 
recently started reading about Nero Wolf,
a quite fat detective and Arche Goodwin, his
assistant.  Witty and clever, I will probably be 
reading more of Stout's works in the near

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a few things to be thankful for.  
"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably, with reverence and awe."  Hebrews 12:28

Thursday, November 05, 2009


Ok, so for the most part I really don't like Halloween. I can't watch TV because scary movies are rampant along with freaky episodes of TV shows, people throw water balloons at your car nearly causing you to get into accidents (true story, jerks), and there is no awesome meal with the family like at Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and even the Fourth of July! However, the costume party I went to for our singles group at church was a lot of fun! I got to connect with the singles much more than I have in the past, there was lots of good food (queso!), and some really funny costumes! In the end it was a fun night! Here is a picture of a few of us. If you can't tell, I'm a bumble bee and yes, I am having to stand on my toes to get my arms over the girls on either side of me. I'm short, but tall enough to reach my hair as my dad says!

From left to right: Dr. House, Nikki (I can't remember what she was), a bumble bee, Wonder Woman, Shaggy, and in front, a tennis player! The guy who was House had the walk with the cane down almost perfectly. I couldn't stop laughing when I saw him do it! There was also a Thelma to the Shaggy, but she wasn't in the picture.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Quest For Love

Every girl should read this book.  Apart from the Bible I think that this book has changed my life more than any other book I've ever read.  Elisabeth Elliot not only gives sound counsel but uses examples from the countless letters she has received focusing in on couples who have waited on God's timing and those who have tried to go their own way.  She encourages men to be men, to not say "I love you" unless they are ready to marry you, to be the initiator, and she urges women to be but gentle and quiet spirits who wait on the Lord.  In a time where we are told to flirt, that it's ok to be the one to call, that sharing a bed before marriage is not only ok but perfectly natural it is incredibly refreshing to read her wise words.  God has given me a great deal of peace about relationships through this book and the scripture Elliot uses and I pray that He will create in me the most gentle and quiet spirit who will either one day be a supportive and submissive wife or a soul set apart to serve the kingdom unmarried.  I encourage everyone, men and women, to read this and be encouraged, inspired and I'm very excited to go through it with the Jr. High girls!

Insomnia Update

God is good, even when I don't get any sleep, but I feel so blessed this morning after crashing at midnight last night and sleeping until my alarm went off.  I pray that I praise God whatever sleep I get or don't get and that I continue to learn the lesson of trust.  I am thankful that He's put me in this situation where I don't have parents or roommates to rely on and I have to cling to Him.  It's very difficult sometimes, but if insomnia is my biggest struggle then I think God's being pretty easy on me.  I look back on Paul's struggles and kind of feel like a wimp!  He was beaten, ship wrecked, thrown in jail, and insulted and through all of this God used him in a mighty way to advance His kingdom.  I can only pray that God will use me in such a way, even if that means that I have to face more sever trials in order to do so.  

Thanks for all your prayers and encouragements.  Lord willing the ability to sleep will continue, but if not pray that I will praise Him just the same.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Insomnia

Can't sleep.  Really need your prayers.  I'm pretty exhausted.  I know God is teaching me something, maybe to rely on Him alone, but I am so tired... I know I don't deserve what could only be considered grace by being allowed to sleep soundly, my mind at peace, but I need it so desperately.  I really need sleep.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Mark That One off the List

It's official, I finally finished The Count of Monte Cristo.  Loved it, but I'm glad to be finished.  I thoroughly plan on waiting until January to start Les Miserables, I need a break.  In the near future I plan to write my thoughts on it, but for now I leave with this:  I finished!  Yay!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

A Study of Psalm 23 - As written at 3:30 A.M. Friday 2, 2009

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want"
  • A shepherd cares for His sheep, protecting them from danger and providing for them.  Therefore, if the Lord is our shepherd, He will protect, care fore, and guide us.  He sufficient.

"He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters,"
  • Our shepherd provides abundantly for us by leading us to good food (His word) and safe water (Himself).  What's more, we can rest in these provisions because He is faithful. 
"He restores my soul."
  • The purpose of all history is the cross.  Our souls are brought back to what they were supposed to be in the garden - a right relationship with the God of the universe. 
"He guides me in paths of righteousness, for His name's sake."
  • The Lord leads us in His ways, bringing us into His righteousness in order that we may glorify His name.
"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
  • While we will go through difficult and potentially dangerous times two things we can be sure of: 1) it is only a shadow, we may suffer but it is only for a little while.  2) We should not fear because our shepherd is with us and He carries a rod and staff that are mighty to save and guide and discipline if necessary.
"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies..."
  • He welcomes us as friends, promising protection.
"Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
  • Though I may not always see it, for my view of things is so small and limited, God's goodness, His perfect goodness, and perfect love surround and follow me.  He will never leave nor forsake me though my own heart may grow faint, and in the end I will understand and praise His name.

Final note: this was written at three or four in the morning so forgive the weakness of the writing.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Passion and Purity

"Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living."  Jim Elliott

Being single can be very lonely.  I listen to the serpent who lies in my ear telling me that God's holding back His blessings from me, that I'm single because there is something wrong with me, that being single is some kind of curse.  I get frightened being alone at night and forget that I am just as safe in my apartment than at my parents house because God is the one watching over me, His rod and His staff ready to defend and discipline if necessary.  I over analyze relationships, the things I say, how I react, and wonder if maybe I'm just not acceptable in the eyes of man.  I forget that the only One I need to please is my Father in heaven, and that He is the one sanctifying me, He is the one who created me, He is the one I have to answer to.  I find myself talking to the TV or just to myself.  Sometimes I even resent my friends for getting married and engaged.  Why not me?  What did I do wrong?  

My mom and dad just bought me a book by Elizabeth Elliott called Passion and Purity.  In it, Elliott writes about her relationship with Jim, their struggles, their prayers and decisions, in order to speak to us today not just to encourage us to be pure in our relationships, but more to teach us to bring our love lives under Christ's control.  She talks about wondering whether or not God had called her to be single, about meeting and falling in love with Jim, about his confession that they might never be able to get married due to his commitment to do mission work where single men were required.  Just the thought of falling in love with a man who loved me back but wasn't sure we would ever be able to get married scares me a little.  I know how the story ends of course, they eventually get married; Jim proposes to Elizabeth in Quito where they also get married, they have one daughter, and then Jim is killed by the very tribe he was ministering too.  Three years.  They were married three years.  If I were Elizabeth Elliott I can't imagine how I would have reacted.  I would love to say that after understandable mourning I would have praised God for the three years I had with Jim, I would love to say that I would have jumped at the opportunity to mission to the same tribe that murdered my husband, but I don't know.  God works powerfully but I know I would have struggled with anger, wondering why He took away someone I loved so much and waited for so long, someone who had been doing His work!  The story just baffles me.  Makes me cry.  It also encourages me.

One of my favorite songs in high school, the title of which now escapes me, had a chorus that went something like this: 'There's a bigger picture you can't see, you don't have to change the world just trust in me...'  Those words spoke to me then, reminding me of how small a perspective I have of this world.  I see all events as completely centered around me.  I see only what I imagine I am suffering.  I see only my little sphere forgetting that I am a spec in the grand scheme.  However, though I am a mere speck, God has called me to be His own and therefore I have a purpose.  Right now, that purpose calls me to be single and I need to be reminded that this is a blessing.  Paul urged his readers to remain single because the single man/woman can focus all of their thoughts on God and His work with no spouse or children to distract.  Not to say that falling in love and getting married and having kids isn't a blessing as well, but for right now that's not what God has given me.  I pray that I don't allow my longing to slay the appetite of my living!  I pray that I will not ache for things God has not willed to give me!  I pray that I will see this time of loneliness as an opportunity to serve God with all of me, all of my time, all of my resources.  I pray that I stop listening to Satan when he lies and tries to twist God's word around.  It's not an easy thing, but the life of a Christian isn't supposed to be.  Thankfully, there is rest at the end.  I'll pass from this world into the full realization of what it means to glorify God and rest in Him for eternity.  I'll see the whole picture, taste pure joy, and understand the fullness of His promises.  Oh that I might strive to live fully for the glory of God now as Jesus did.  That I would not waste my time longing, and start living.

"Wherever you are, be all there.  Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God."  Jim Elliott

Friday, September 18, 2009

John Ferguson is My Hero Today

I steal lots of things from John's blog, hopefully he doesn't mind.

A Conversation about Heaven & Exclusivity
Bobby slammed his coffee cup on the counter a little bit harder than he intended to: “You see, this is what frustrates me about you Christians. You all think that only Christians will be in Heaven. What about other people, like Gandhi, Buddha, or any other number of good people?”

Greg was a little surprised a Bobby’s intensity. They had connected a couple times previously in the semester getting coffee before their Philosophy 301 class and had always enjoyed asking each other what they believed. Greg tilted his head a bit and suggested somewhat teasingly, “Well, Bobby, I’m glad that you at least believe in Heaven.”

“Now, I didn’t say that, I consider myself open to the idea. But…," and then he hesitated.

They both sat down and poured packets of sugar into their coffee. “But…if there were a heaven, Christians are wrong about it?” Greg offered.

“They are wrong about it if they think that only Christians will be there. That’s just too…too…?”

“Exclusive? You think Christians are too exclusive.”

“Exactly,” nodded Bobby. The two college juniors sat in the corner where the sun was shining through the blinds.

“Okay,” said Greg, pausing. “It sounds like you’ve spent some time thinking about this. Let me ask you a question.”


“What kinds of people will be there?”

Bobby didn’t hesitate. “All kinds of people will be there, young & old, rich & poor, Jews, Christians, Muslims & non-religious folks.”

“What about Atheists?”

Bobby looked up for a moment weighing the question. “Sure, I know many Atheists who are good people. There’s no reason they shouldn’t be there, even if they don’t believe in God now.”

Greg took an unusually slow slip on his coffee, gathering his thoughts. “So you believe that good people go to heaven?”

“Yes! And—I must say—that’s much more inclusive and open-minded than you Christians,” Bobby said with a smile and a bit of satisfaction.

“Okay, now I’m confused,” Greg said throwing open his free hand.

“What do you mean?”

Greg leaned forward in his sofa chair. “I thought you were worried about Christians being too exclusive, but your view takes the cake!”

“I’m not sure I’m following you,” Bobby said hesitatingly, not wanting to take the bait. “What do you mean?”

“Well, maybe you can clarify this for me. You say that all kinds of good people—Muslims, Jews, Christians, and even good Atheists—will be in heaven because they have been, well, good.”

“Yes…?” Bobby was wondering where Greg was going with this.

“That view is much more ‘exclusive’ than what Christians believe.” Greg threw himself back into his chair shaking his head.

“How so?”

“What about the bad people?” Greg said protesting. “I mean, people who’ve broken the big commandments: liars, cheaters, murderers, adulterers? According to your view, they have no hope of heaven.”

“Okay. What are you saying?”

“I’m saying that your standard requirement for getting into heaven is that people have to be ‘good,’ but that excludes a lot of people.”

“Hmmm…okay. You got me," Bobby answered, somewhat sarcastically.

“Bobby, I’m not trying to get you. I’m just trying to understand your view."

"But that doesn’t exonerate Christianity’s exclusivity.”

"Look, everyone is exclusive on this issue, unless you want to say that everyone goes to Heaven when they die. But not many people want to say that. I mean, do you believe that Hitler will be in Heaven? There has to be an accounting, somehow. There has to be some kind of judgment for those folks, don’t you agree?”

Bobby nodded his head in agreement setting his coffee on the table. “Yeah, I can’t see God throwing open ‘the golden gates’ for the likes of Hitler, Moa-Tse Tung, Lenin, & the like,” he said as he threw open his arms in a big welcoming gesture.

Greg leaned forward again. “But here is the deal. Christianity says that there is hope for everyone, even for the really bad people too.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, if we take seriously what the Bible says, everyone has sinned against God, and nobody is perfect, not even one. Yet God requires perfection.”

“Well, if that’s the case, then what hope is there for anyone?”

“Well, that’s just my point. Here’s the heart of the Christian message: God himself came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ. He lived the perfect life, which means he loved God and others perfectly. And he voluntarily gave up his life when he died on the cross for people like you and me.”

“Okay," said Bobby as he was looking up tracking the argument. "I think I’m following you.”

“Do you know what the Apostle Paul said that I find so encouraging?”

“No, what?” They both stopped and looked up at a group of co-eds who entered the coffee shop laughing hysterically.

Greg & Bobby looked back at each other and busted out laughing, shaking their heads. After a moment, Greg continued, “He said something along the lines of, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.”

“An Apostle of Jesus Christ said that he was the worst of sinners?” Bobby asked incredulously.

Greg nodded.

“Why would he say that?”

“Well, before he became a Christian, he was hunting down Christians and killing them. Speaking of his pre-Christian days, Paul said that he was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man.”

A light seemed to be going off in Bobby’s mind, “And Jesus somehow made the difference?”

“Exactly,” Greg said with a smile. “Paul went on to say that it was because of this very reason—that he was the worst of sinners—that he was shown mercy, so that the Lord Jesus might use him as an example of his patience towards those who would come to believe on him.”

Bobby leaned forward, “You mean to tell me that Paul was saying that his hope of heaven was not because he was good, but because he was bad.”

Greg chuckled reassuringly. “You're starting to get it. Paul wasn’t good, even though he excelled as a Pharisee—that is, a religious teacher,” he clarified. “In many ways, he had to abandon all hope in his goodness and throw himself at the mercy of Jesus.”

Greg paused to make sure Bobby understood. Bobby was nodding his head like it was all sinking in. “Go on,” he said.

That’s why I said earlier that a standard that says, ‘All good people get into heaven,’ is actually very exclusive, much more so than Christianity. Christianity says that even bad people have reason to hope for mercy if they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for only bad people.”

“I think I’m getting what you are saying.”

“Let that sink in. I truly believe that Christianity is unique, because it doesn’t tell you to go out and make religious pilgrimages, or to pray a certain number of times per day in a certain direction, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, or do x, y, & z. It tells you to abandon all hopes of impressing God with your goodness—because you can’t—and to believe in the Lord Jesus who actually saves people like us and people who are ‘worse’ than us and people who are ‘better’ than us.”

“Well Greg, this has been an interesting conversation. I have never seen things that way before.”

“I used to not, either. I’m glad we had this time to chat in between classes.”

The two rose and put on their backpacks.

“Me too. Maybe we can carry on this conversation later?”

“I’d love to. Because our hope is not really Heaven, but Heaven on earth.”

“Wow. We’ll definitely have to carry this conversation on later.”

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jon Foreman is My Hero

I would say more, but really, what more needs to be said. Made me cry today as the conviction really set in about those who I tend to dismiss as lost causes. I pray that I will reach out to those who have no hope.

Somebody’s baby

She yells, "If you were homeless
Sure as hell you'd be drunk
Or high or trying to get there
Or begging for junk
When people don’t want you
They just throw you money for beer."

Her name was November
She went by Autumn or Fall
It was seven long years
Since the Autumn when all
Of her nightmares grew fingers
And all of her dreams grew a tear

She's somebody's baby
Somebody's baby girl
She's somebody's baby
Somebody's baby girl
And she's somebody's baby still

She screams, "Well if you've never
Gone at it alone, well then go ahead
You better throw the first stone
You got one lonely stoner
Waiting to bring to her knees"

She dreams about heaven
Remembering hell
As a nightmare she visits
And knows all too well
Every now and again
When she's sober she brushes her teeth

She's somebody's baby

Today was her birthday
Strangely enough
When the cops found her body
At the foot of the bluff
The anonymous caller this morning
Tipped off the police

They got her I.D
From her dental remains
The same fillings still intact
The same nicotine stains
The birth and the death were both over
With no one to grieve

She's somebody's baby

Friday, September 11, 2009

Read It

This is from my old RUF pastor's blog and I had to put up a link to his latest post.  Super convicting.  

Strange Discovery

I made a very strange discovery last night when looking up natural home remedies for dry hair (I've been having an epic battle with this since the beginning of time... or my time anyway) I discovered that olive oil is an incredible moisturizer.  I've used mayo before but it leave the hair way too greasy.  Olive oil on the other hand, works wonders.  Don't use too much and make sure to wash it out really well, but it just about the only thing that has put real shine into my hair.  I knew it was good for cooking but I had no idea it could be a natural beauty product.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

For Dinner Tonight

Baked trout: Bread crumbs, butter, salt, pepper, more butter, purple onion garlic, preheat the oven to 400 and bake 20 minutes.  I really don't do measurements and it tastes wonderful!

The Good Thing About Insomnia

Last night, despite the fact that I'd been very tired all day, I had a little bout of insomnia.  Until about four in the morning I was wide awake, but during that time I was able to spend a lot of time reading.  I realized that though I was frustrated, I was glad to have a little time to catch up on the books I keep saying I need to finish.  

What I'm reading:

  • Count of Monte Cristo (My goal is to finish it by the end of the year)
  • Emma (I read it when the Count is getting exhausting)
  • Don't Waste Your Life
  • Dispensationalism: Rightly Dividing the people of God?

Friday, September 04, 2009

Too Young...???

Tonight I was watching TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress" and was completely floored.  One of the brides was told that they would dress her to look like Audrey Hepburn and she claimed that she was too young to know who that was.  Really?  She said she was 24.  Who doesn't know who Audrey Hepburn is?  Maybe that's a little silly, but it still surprises me and makes me laugh a little.  I guess not everyone grew up with old movies the way I did.  Anyone else think that's a little strange?

A Lesson in Instruction

The Lord said to Moses, "Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites." Numbers 13:1

This is the passage in Numbers where 12 men from the twelve tribes of Israel go out into Canaan to observe the people and the land.  When they come back, all but two of the men (Caleb and Joshua) create fear within the community, claiming that the people of Canaan were far too big, that they would not be able to defeat them.

Now.  God did not send these men into the land to assess the situation in order to change their plans, He sent them in to show them what He was giving to them.  They forgot what He had promised in the beginning, and because they forgot, they grew fearful, and because they grew fearful they disobeyed God.  In the end, that generation did not get to see the promised land.  Instead, they wondered the desert for 40 years until the last of them were dead.  Then, God fulfilled His promise through Joshua, who lead them into the promised land, taking on the supposedly impossible to defeat Canaanites.

I need to remember this in my day to day life as well.  That if God promises me something, my short comings will not get in the way.  In my weakness, He is strong.  How cool is that?

Ok Brian, here goes...

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Awesome Quote

"The gospel is news, not a set of instructions."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


"Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves.  I am the Lord."  Leviticus 18:28

This is just to ask your thoughts.  Right before this verse it talks about not clipping the edges of your beard, so I'm wondering, where do we draw the line?  Am I missing something about the beards?  Maybe there's a bigger purpose in the beard thing.  I don't know.  What do y'all think?

Friday, August 21, 2009


I don't even want to think about how ridiculously long it's been since I've posted on my blog, but things have been busy.  I know, no excuse.  But I've decided to ease back in.  So quick update.  Summer is over and my first two months at Christ EPC have been awesome and crazy.  We went through 1 Peter in bible study and in Sunday School (when I'm teaching) we've been going through a series about owning your faith.  I've also been given the task of creating a picture directory for the youth group, a little overwhelming, not really my talent (I'm very relational and I love teaching bible study and sunday school) but I know God has a lot to teach me through it.  Living alone has been an enjoyable and frustrating experience.  I love being able to invite people over whenever I want, I love not worrying about waking anyone up when I watch movies or work out in the morning, but there are times when it's lonely and when I get scared at night.  Again, a learning experience.  Learning to trust God, learning to rely on Him.  Finally, I just started going to singles bible study at Christ EPC and so far (after two weeks) I'm loving it.  It's nice to be taught and hang out with people my age.  

Prayer requests: 
  • That I would grow and mature, meaning that I would become a quiet and gentle spirit
  • That I would have God's peace
  • That God would work through me in the girls lives
  • That I would become way less self focused

A fun note:  Favorite food currently is goat cheese.  I'm putting it on absolutely everything!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Pure of heart?

"Only one of pure heart would risk their life for someone they loved.." The Mummy 3 (quote might not be exact).


Think about this: "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5: 6-8

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Post Long Over Due

Last week we got back from Camp Barnabus, and I think it is safe to say that the week I spent there was the hardest week of my life thus far. I was paired with a camper rather than spending that time with the Jr. Highers we went with, and while I still question the wisdom in the camp director's decision to do this, I will say that God really taught me a lot. He humbled me. This is something I wrote one night before bed while I was there.

"I am so very much like Evin in my relationship with God. There are times when I ask Him a thousand questions that I've asked Him countless times before, where I love Him and praise Him and thank Him, and ask Him for helps, and then there are times when I yell at him and shove Him away, tell him to "Leave me alone!" I was frustrated with Evin for yelling at me and telling me to go away, I still get frustrated when she tells me those things and physically brushes me off, but she is most certainly serving to remind me of the way I treat God. Constantly, He is helping me and leading me, and loving on me, and though sometimes I thank Him, more often than not I shove Him away out of stubbornness and arrogance. Though I am tired and would honestly rather be hanging and connecting with the CEPC girls, I am thankful for this time with Evin, and I know that God brought me here for a reason.

Lord, continue to give me Your mercy, patience, love, and energy. Continue to use this time to mold me into the woman You need me to be to advance your kingdom. In Jesus name, amen."

I am learning that God teaches us through sin and its effects. How could we know what God's mercy was if it were not for sin? How could we know the depth of His grace were it not for sin? How could we know what true love was, were it not for sin? As much as I hate sin I am thankful for it, because I know God has had a plan since before time began, and I am thankful for a good and sovereign God.

Monday, June 08, 2009


Crazy times often lead to slacking off blog-wise, though i can't say I'm all that consistent anyway.  To all my loyal readers (I believe there may be one and a half ;-)) I apologize.  I just started my new job and I'm really enjoying it.  Right now I'm trying to get a good focus on what I want to do exactly, if I want to do some individual studies with the girls like going through a book or something else.  I think that asking them what they want to do would be a good course to take.  Right now I'm mostly trying to get everyone's numbers and get to know the girls a little better.  This weekend we had a sleep over with the upcoming sixth graders and I got very little sleep.  On top of that, the next morning I went to Ikea with a few of the Jr. High girls, ate breakfast (yes, Ikea serves breakfast, and for $2 no less), and walked around the store.  Then, I went to a graduation.  Needless to say I passed out when I got home.  Sunday was busy too as I didn't really have time to go home after church and get my Sunday afternoon nap but the Nerd Search was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it.  I think that the people at the Galleria enjoyed our strange costumes almost as much as the students did.  

This week I'm heading off with the Jr High to Camp Barnabus on a mission trip for a few days and then next week, drum roll please, I am finally moving into my new apartment!  I have to say that I'm am very excited because I think that part of my exhaustion recently is because I live so far from the church, not to mention the fact that it will now be much easier for girls to come over and watch a movie or eat lunch or something like that.  And now that I've gotten all the electricity, internet, and renters insurance taken care of, the last step is move in day!  Yay!  

Sunday, May 31, 2009

One Night Sleep, Oh You're Never Gonna Get it

This post may be a little discombobulated and I've just woken up from a short nap and am still sleepy from my late night last night.  I made the mistake yesterday of reading an article about why people like horror movies because I still have a hard time understanding the appeal.  This was a mistake because it put thoughts in my mind that kept me up very late and had me nervous to go to sleep.  Illogical, yes, but my brain is often run by imagination rather than logic.  I've been praying about it for years and hope that my future residence in this apartment, alone, will be a great learning experience.  

The main reason I write this post is to thank Janelle for her comment and the bible verse she left.  "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, Oh Lord, make me dwell in safety."  Psalm 4:8.  Sometimes I forget that scripture is a weapon, that we can, and should, use it to go into battle against our sin and spiritual warfare.  I tend to leave it in academia and the pursuit of knowing God better, and while it is most assuredly for these purposes it is also to be used in times of trouble and temptation.  The fears that torment me at night, are part of spiritual warfare because of the lies they make me believe and just the exhaustion they create.  They make me believe the lie that there is something outside of God's control, that in some way He can't protect me from whatever it is that I fear.  They make me feel utterly alone and ashamed even though God is right there to protect me.  They take my focus off of praising God and center it on me.  

I need to remember that God alone makes me dwell in safety and that the things I fear have no power on their own.  I give them power over me.  Last night I fell asleep repeating Psalm 4:8 over and over again, trying to remind myself that God's the one in charge of the situation.  I pray that the verses will grow in their power in my life and that my fears will weaken, though it may be something I struggle with for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's Official

Yes, that's right, I officially start my new job May 31, 2009.  I must say I am super stoked and look forward to it.  Ever since high school I have wanted to go into youth ministry, to build relationships with girls and encourage them to build relationships with God and those around them, to encourage them to reach out to their communities to show the world what it really means to be a Christian (i.e. not just someone who goes to church but someone who loves God, people, all people, and knows what it means to be a servant), and to encourage unity among themselves, and here's my chance.  My prayer is that God will work through me, because if it's my work alone it will all be in vain.  On my own I'm nothing, I have no power to do anything other than destroy and nothing is accomplished, but with God all things are possible, and He can work through me in mighty ways.  It's very humbling to realize just how little I can do on my own.  But it's also a relief.  It's a relief because I know that despite my cruddy witness He can still bring people to Himself because "neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow."  How awesome is that?

On the down side, I had to change my move in date for my apartment to the 20th of June.  This actually is better in that my parents will be in town and it's not on the same date as when we're on a mission trip, but it's bad because until then it's a 45 (or so) minute drive to the church.  However, I will continue to be thankful that I found an apartment close to the church and that June's rent will be less expensive.  So, no complaints in the long run!

Monday, May 25, 2009

So, about the slackerness...

I go through periods where I'm really bad about updating my blog, and this is one of those times.  I've had access to the internet, I've had plenty of time on my hands as I haven't started working yet, and I really don't have any other excuse except laziness, so I'll chalk it up to that.  I'm still feeling lazy so at the moment I'm simply giving a small update.  So far I've mostly just been catching up with old friends, finding an apartment (move-in date June 13th!), and sweating it out while waiting to find out about my job.  It's been wonderful spending time with my family and seeing old friends but I cannot wait to start working.  The students at Christ EPC are awesome and I look forward to discipling and having fun with the girls.  I also can't wait to move into my new apartment.  

If you know me, you know that I have some fear issues.  The wrong movie or even preview for a movie can cause me many a sleepless night, so the prospect of living alone for the first time in my life is a huge leap.  I think this will be an awesome opportunity for me to work on trusting God because I will have no one else around to comfort me when I'm scared.  The only way for me to get over a fearful night will be to pray and trust God to give me strength.  This will also be a great way to invite students over to the apartment and not have any roommates to worry about bothering.  It's a little more expensive not to have a roommate, but that will also help me to learn to budget better.  

So, there you go.  Keep me in your prayers!   

Thursday, May 07, 2009


So good to be home.  As nice as having showers that stay warm the whole time you are in them, and as much as I love having carpet that I greatly missed, and as amazing as being able to drive is, the best part of being home is family and friends.  Seriously.  I have missed them so much and I am so glad to be with them again.  I've gotten to hang with them a lot and look forward to (hopefully) working near them in the future.  I'm also thankful that my computer is fixed.  For those of you who do not know, the spine was cracked and I was afraid that the whole thing was going to snap in half.  Thankfully, the Apple store was able to fix it.  

Up and coming: Hannah's bachelorette party tonight, rehearsal dinner tomorrow night, wedding Saturday, and then Sunday I'll be teaching Sunday School at Christ EPC.  Please continue to keep me in your prayers.  They are always much appreciated.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Two-thirds done...

Another quick update.  God is so good.  I made it to Ft. Lauderdale without event and the airline didn't even lose my luggage!  This trip is already way better than the one last year.  Now I just have one more plane to go, a drive home, maybe a quick shower and then I can take a nap.  I'm sure that somewhere in there I will be hugging parents and all that jazz, but right now all I can think of is sleep!  Of course the flight wasn't so bad as I ended up in the back with three seats to myself!  I stretched out and the only thing that would have made it more perfect was if I'd had a blanket - my feet were so cold!  Spirit airlines did not provide a blanket, but I was so happy to have those three seats!

Looking forward to getting home!  No pictures, I look like I've been sitting in an airport for fourteen hours and have just flown five hours overnight to the U.S.  Not pretty at all.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Leavin' on a jet plane...

A quick update: I am in the Lima airport.  The countdown: six hours and 57 minutes until my plane takes off for the U.S.  Prayer requests: safe travels and no lost bags!  Also, no swine flu.  Haha!  There are so many people wearing masks in the airport that it's a little creepy.  But I regress.  Looking forward to seeing everyone again.
Me and Gregory sitting in Starbucks.  Yes, I am 23 and I have a bear I take with me on planes.  They are excellent pillows in a pinch.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu... everyone else is talking about it...

Parents, take care of your children.  I've been out of the country for a while but I've heard much talk and worrying about this so called swine flu and I feel it is my duty to warn against the causes... Observe the picture my mother sent me.

Worrisome isn't it?

Sometimes laughter is the best cure for fear.  

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Things I'm going to miss...

A week from Saturday I will begin my journey back to the United States.  It's crazy to think that I've been here for about ten months and that the time is coming to an end.  It has been hard and fun, frustrating and amazing, lonely and overcrowded, but to sum it all up, I must say I'm so glad I came.  God brought me here for a reason and I look forward to seeing how my time here will effect my ministry later in life.  In light of my leaving, I wanted to make a list of things I will miss, and things I'll be glad to leave behind.

I will miss...
  • Cheap, fresh, HUGE vegetables
  • Cheap, fresh, HUGE fruit
  • Living fifteen minutes from the beach
  • Cebiche
  • Paying 4 soles for a huge meal (less than a dollar)
  • Random conversations with overly friendly taxi drivers
  • Mollie, Brueck, Phoebe, and Tirzah (my bible study girls)
  • A kiss on the cheek
  • Our secretaries, Flor and Elva
  • Our SALI director, Fabian and his wife Albertina... oh, and of course little Noah
  • Gillian, Heather, Patty, and Julie
  • Julton, Oscar, Collin, Jameson, Eddie... (ok, all my Peruvian friends which are too many to list here)
  • Juliana, Priscila, Lucia, Rebeca, Dorcus (the Peruana teachers)
  • Lucia (our cleaning lady)
  • All of the missionary families including their dogs
  • Dance class with Marty Bolton
  • Jungle food
  • Sonia, Scarlet
Things I will not miss...
  • Excessive honking
  • Over friendly taxi drivers
  • Having excessively dirty feet
  • Widow makers
  • Not being able to drink tap water
  • Feeling silly when I can't answer a grammar question
  • Being away from my parents
  • Getting whistled or kissed at by creepy, old men
  • Our dueños
I have to admit that I'm surprised at my lists.  When I was a little frustrated last Christmas, a man from my church in the U.S. who was also doing mission work in a foreign country told me I should make a list of all the things I loved about Peru.  I should have made this list a long time ago as clearly what I love outweighs the bad.  Maybe that's a testament to how we really should do everything without grumbling and complaining as Paul encourages us, and even more how we should try and find the good in every situation.  I've learned a lot here, and will clearly miss a lot as well.  I can't wait to see the people back home, but I will truly miss the people here.  Hasta luego, Peru.  Te extrañaré mucho.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mancora Pictures Part 2

More pictures from Mancora.  Someday I will get a downloader for my camera.

I believe that this picture was taken Friday night after another day of huge waves and
 sun.  We had just gone to dinner at a great "Mexican" restaurant with HUGE margarita
s and piña coladas.  I had a veggie quesadilla that was out of this world.  Afterwards, we visited a huka bar.  Side note: I do not typically smoke, but being on vacation I tho
ught it would be fun.  Chances are my smoking escapades will stay in Mancora.  It's kind of like Vegas: what happens in Mancora stays in Mancora!

This is to give you a little taste of what the waves
re like Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Normally, I'm all for goi
ng pretty far out and living it up in chill waves or even doing a little body surfing, but these were the biggest waves I've ever seen personally.  Not to mention the undercurrent that seemed to want to pull us out
 to sea.  I'm a pretty good swimmer but going out there would have been 
plain stupid.  We saw two people have to get rescued for going out too far.  Needless to say, we stayed near the beach.

However, a few people, obviously much stronger swimmers than myself who probably grew up 
on the beach braved the waves and surfed.  I was sad that we didn't get a chance to surf, buy 
lying on the beach just chilling out was fabulous.  Maybe one day I'll get a chance to try again, but last weekend it was just not meant to be.  

Some of us did get to ride horses on the beach though!  Patty and Gillian paid the equivalent of
 $5 to gallop through the sand to the sound of waves.  Gillian's horse was a bit confused to begin with, running in all sorts of random directions, but eventually they got things figured out.  I now wish I'd spent the 20 soles as well!

One of the best parts of Mancora was that we chilled long enough to watch amazing sunsets.  The picture doesn't quite capture it, but hopefully this will give you and idea of what we saw.  

Another picture from the first day.  While waiting for our lunch, two very tanned "vendors" came by selling henna tattoos.  After a little thought, I decided to go for it and get one.  It is only supposed to last for about ten days but showering makes them fade much faster.  My very cool sun makes me want a real tattoo, but there are two problems with that: they last forever and ar
e expensive... hmm.  Not to mention the heart attack it would give my poor mom.  I don't want to send her to an early grave.  So I think for now, I will stick with the semi-permanent tattoos, because who knows how it will look when I'm 8o!  Ew.

And finally, the eight hour bus ride home.  On the way to Mancora our seats were a bit nicer and though I did not sleep perfectly, I slept much better than I did on the way back to Trujillo.  The seats on the return bus were... special, as you can see from Gillian's seat.  It was not supposed to go back quite that far.    As you can see from my last picture, I'm a bit worried about the outcome of this trip.  As is Julie.

The trip is how many hours long?  Oh.  Only eight?  Psh, no problem.  Our bus ride to the jungle ended up being about 22 hours my second week in Peru.  Eight hours I can handle.  Thankfully, I got to sleep in back in Trujillo and then got to bed early Monday night.  Bus rides always make me thankful for beds!  Welcome back to Trujillo!

Mancora Pictures Part 1

Ok, so as most of you know, I lost the downloader thing for my camera last year and have therefore been stealing pictures from friends or my Dad off of facebook.  So, thanks to Patty and Gillian, here are pictures from our amazing vacation in Mancora.

Me, first day in Mancora.  Very tired and a little sunburnt.  We chilled out at a resort that we did not belong to, but never got kicked out.  It was kind of nice.  Later that evening, I would fall asleep on my blanket in the sand.  If only life could always be like that.  

Enjoying a drink called an "almond joy".  This was actually our last day, Sunday, and this was an amazing drink!  It had ice cream in it, how can you go wrong?
It definitely brings joy...
Julie about to try cocoanut juice... milk?  She did not enjoy it at all.

Coming in from the beach with Heather.  The water was a little cold, but much, much warmer than it is in Huanchaco!  

Monday, April 13, 2009


Back to the real world today!  Last Wednesday night Heather, Gillian, Julie, Patty, and I headed off to the beautiful beach town of Mancora.  We laid on the beach, ate Mexican food, got henna tattoos, drank Almond Joys (amazing), and were woken up by roosters.  It was an amazing vacation and my only regret was missing Easter Sunday.  I'm sad to say that my prayer time was not as fruitful as I would have liked it, but Lord willing I plan to spend more time now that I'm back.  

As of now I am exhausted.  We took a bus from Mancora to Talara and then from Talara to Trujillo.  It was eight hours and despite the sleeping pills there was not a lot of sleeping going on for me.  So look forward to a better update with pictures!  For now, here's one that Patty took!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Interview Today

Everyone will probably read this long after the interview is actually over, but I'm posting for prayer anyway.  At noon today I have an interview with Christ EPC over Vonage and I am a bit nervous.  So many concerns are swirling around in my head, not the least of which is, 'Will the Vonage work???'  Internet is a little iffy here sometimes but I'm just trying to trust God to take care of that and constantly reminding myself that if it does fail we can always try again.  More pressing than internet and Vonage phones of course is the concern that in my nervousness I'll say something stupid or step on someone's question or just make a fool of myself in general.  Again, this is a trust issue.  I love having control of things so much but here's the reality: I have very little control over anything at all.  God is sovereign, and as Paul says, "God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).  

So I'll be saying a prayer and trying to trust God in His goodness as I wait for the phone to ring.  May God grant me strength!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Sick Again

I'm starting to think that there is something wrong with me.  Last night I went to the beach with Gillian, Julie, and some other church friends.  I was hungry, so I went to get a pizza from the bar right on the beach.  As I was standing there, I decided that it wouldn't hurt to get a drink too.  I'm on vacation, right?  So I ordered a rum and coke to go with my very large Hawiana pizza.  It was fabulous.  But after a little while I started feeling bad, really bad.  I lay down by our campfire (after paying of course) and hoped I'd get better.  However, after a little while I decided that this wasn't going to happen.  The ride home was rough and I crashed the instant I was in my room.  Around 2 AM I woke up with the desperate need to go to the bathroom.  For the next few hours (about four or five) I was up on the hour and back to the bathroom.  I won't go into the details for those with weak constitutions but lets just say it was bad.  I also had a killer headache and the shakes and at one point we ran out of toilet paper.  Bodegas (little stores where you can buy different things, like toilet paper) are unfortunately not open at 5 AM.  Thankfully, around noon it was all over.  I made it to bible study and up to SALI so I could connect with the outside world.  

Considering the fact that this is the fourth time in the last four months that I've had stomach issues I think I'll be headed to the clinic in the near future.  It's always possible that I have a little critter roaming around in my intestines somewhere... ew.  Keep me in your prayers!

P.S.  One more prayer request:  I have a job interview on Sunday.  It's a phone interview and that makes me a little nervous, so for anyone reading this, pray that God will speak through me, that the Vonage phone will work fine, and that I will stay calm.  Thanks!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This Week

This week SALI is closed.  We have a little break to recup. before heading back into teaching etc., which is nice because SALI needed a week to get the new coffee shop set up.  That's right, SALI is opening a coffee shop.  We'll see how that goes.  I'm working it in the mornings in April along with two classes.  My last month... crazy.  I'm hoping for a good month where I can connect with my students and maybe hang outside of class a little.  Of course if I just end up hanging out with my Jr. High girls then I'll be happy.

Back to this week.  I've already been boogie boarding once and aside from an altercation with some mean surf guys who made us pay for a board that we didn't break, it was a lot of fun.  I got cold so ended up on the beach after an hour, but it was really nice just to relax in the sun.  

Today I just bummed around, reading The Count of Monte Cristo and playing a little guitar.  Hopefully, I'll finish that book sometime this year.  It's pretty long.

Friday I plan on going to the beach again with my girls to boogie board.  

Very short update complete.  More detailed one to come.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Machu Pichu/The Fam continued

Dad and me in Huanchaco... drinking Champagne 
Squatting on a cool rock in Machu Picchu

The fam... can you guess where?

Thomas, Mom, our tour guide (Percy???) and Me

Me... and Machu Picchu

Parents, brothers, and Machu Picchu

My parents came to Trujillo last week.  We spent Sunday night, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in 'The land of eternal spring' and then headed to Lima to meet my brother and fly on to Cusco.  It was an awesome week and, although it made me a bit more homesick than before, it was wonderful getting to hang out with them and show them where I've been living for the past nine or so months.  Here are some pics from our amazing week.
Dad and Me atop the Arevalo church.

Mom and Me atop Arevalo
Mom, Dad, and Me at Big Ben's in Huanchaco. (Correction, thanks to Janelle!)

Mom and me in Huanchaco... I can't remember the name of the boats behind us... ask my Dad if you know him =D
Thomas, a llama, and me in Machu Picchu.

More to come...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Really just because I'm slacking off on the web..., introduced to me by Brian Land my old youth director.  The website devotes itself to making demotivational posters as opposed to motivational ones.  It brings me hours of time wasting entertainment.  This picture made me think of someone who reads my blog.  I won't say who, maybe she can guess.  It has something to do with a comment she made out once being "heartless" and how she isn't anymore because she likes flowers.  You know who you are.  Hope this makes y'all laugh.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


P.S.:  My parents will be in Trujillo tomorrow night!  Yay!

Girls Night!

Friday night I had the girls from my bible study come over and spend the night.  We made sushi and watched Hairspray.  This morning we made French toast again, as I had excellent success yesterday with my morning class.  Here are some pictures of the evening festivities... which are again blurry because I'm taking all pictures with my computer camera:

Making sushi with not very sticky sticky rice, salmon, cucumbers, avocado, and cream cheese.

Phoebe making a "sushi salad".  (Like I said, the sticky rice wasn't very sticky).
Mollie, Brueck, and Phoebe's arm.  Mollie had the best sushi of the night.  It actually looked like a sushi roll.

Friday, March 13, 2009

French Toast!

This morning I made french toast with Basic 6 class.  We had planned to make pancakes but after a disaster I had trying to make them last Tuesday I decided french toast instead.  Things went well and everyone loved them.  My students were a little camera shy.

Our table includes, French toast, bananas, and grapes.  No syrup, couldn't find any.

It took a lot of doing to get them together for a group picture.  Meita, the girl right beside me, was the only one who was willing to take any pictures.  She also did a really good job of helping with the French toast.

Brady and Pricilla decided to get in on the French toast action.  The cups they are holding contain the most amazing fresh squeezed orange juice you will every drink, and it only costs a sole.
The almost finished pile of French toast, held up by the beautiful Johanna who works at Starbucks.  Yes, Trujillo has a Starbucks.... Still not sure how I feel about that.

The girls.  Like I said, Meita was the only one who would voluntarily let me take a picture.