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To Joplin I Go – God Willing :)

5 Jul

I have traveled up and down the West cost NUMEROUS times. I have even (briefly) been up to Canada as a youngin’ and Mexico twice. But I have NEVER traveled further east than Arizona. Let me show you a map of just how far East (or not so) Arizona is.

Now, I’m not one to complain. Really. I am VERY INCREDIBLY thankful to have been to Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Arizona. But my love of accents and curiosity of the flat plains in the mid-West keeps pestering me.

On a more serious note…

When the tornadoes hit Joplin this past-May, the thought of a mission trip briefly crossed my mind. I didn’t think much of it until I overheard Shane talking to AJ about a plan to go a couple weeks ago. (I’m a middle child, i’m nosey!) I interrupted him (woops!) to verify what I heard was true…and it WAS! I was SUPER pumped about it – especially to go with many of my closest friends!!! But then…the dates were announced. September 1-9. And I was torn.

My older sister is due with her second child that same week. Right smack dab in the middle. September 6.

Sure, you can never really plan when to give birth (naturally). She can have it a week early or two weeks late. My sister wants me there, and I want to be there.

I also have my first family reunion in 11 years that same week.

I love spending time with my family, being around my own flesh and blood who love me. I want to be there, too!

But the passion to serve in my own country where people are in need was too strong to ignore and forget about.

I need to go where He wants me. And the Lord is calling me to Joplin.

With that being said, I need YOUR help.

I wholeheartedly believe that where God guides, God provides. And sometimes His provision is through support from others. I have been super blessed the last couple years I’ve gone to San Vicente, Mexico with the youth group as the timing of the trip is around the same time I get my tax refund check. But this time, it’s different and I am relying on God to provide the way for me to go. I will be saving as much as I can, but I know I won’t be able to do it all myself.

So, if you feel called to do so, please pray and if you feel lead to donate, please do. Even if all you can do is pray I will receive the funds, I will be just as thankful! Seriously!

I know how great and big our God is. The total amount for the trip is not for sure yet. Shane mentioned something in the area of $700-800. I also am taking a week off work, which is a pretty good chunk – especially coming off such a busy Summer. With that being said…my goal is $1000, ALL extra money I don’t need will be given to the Calvary Chapel in Joplin or to victims of the tornadoes directly.

I am excited for the opportunity to serve the Lord in the United States. Having been through natural disasters at my own house growing up, and being super blessed by my churches serving the Lord and helping my family, I am thankful to do the same for others.

Please pray for this trip. That all details will fall into place. That we may all be prepared to serve the Lord wholeheartedly and genuinely. That all funds for everyone will be provided, and if this trip is not the Lord’s will for me (or someone else), that we will be okay with that, too.

If you would like to donate to my trip fund, please click the image below. I am doing it through my Paypal. If you would like to send a donation in the mail, please email me at

Thank you.

In Christ love,



Going Through the Motions

24 Mar

Growing up is most definitely rewarding, fulfilling, and interesting. But there are, of course, certain things in the moment that seem rather…useless.

Can i get an, “Amen!”?!?

Those moments always seem to make sense later on though…

When I look at pictures of myself and others, I ALWAYS look at the eyes. The eyes are said to be the window of the soul. They give away the truth of what the person is experiencing. Whether the truth is exhaustion, joy, fulfillment, accomplishment, sorrow, heartbreak, etc. Compare pictures of yourself or a friend from today to the ones two years ago, do you see the difference? The difference of a child becoming an adult? The difference of maturity in the eyes of a person?

Being able to see that difference is why i love Facebook. (Yes, I am going there!)

You see… it wasn’t always as easy to see the day by day changes of you and your peers after a couple years in a couple minutes. But with Facebook, all you gotta do is hit the right arrow key, and you are flipping through the life of a person and are able to see growth (or stagnancy) in but a moment! And I guarantee, if you look at the eyes of the person, you will notice a difference.

A difference that makes me yearn for the days of yesterday…but remind me to enjoy today because I don’t want to spend my whole life wishing I was still in the yesterday’s.

Life is definitely not where I want it.

Far from it.

I want to be a wife, I want to be a mom, I want to be a soccer mom (just without the jeans, haircut, and mini-van).

But this is where He has me. Today.

I am single. But that doesn’t mean I am not able to prepare myself for the future. It’s doesn’t mean life is boring. I still get asked out, which makes for good stories to giggle about with my friends. And I also still get to experience the giddyness of a new relationship…again (but hey, i love the giddyness!) There are possibilities in impossible situations…or in desperate circumstances where temptation lures for me to be bitter and evil.

What usually hangs me up on moving on from something…is remembering how great the past was. How happy I was at a certain time at different periods of my life…reminding myself in the blissful moments to take everything in, because I just might not get the chance to in the future. Something I had to learn to do.

The eyes I look into today do not hold the same innocence and immaturity as they once did. And as sad as that could be, I know it’s for the better.

I realize that my life has been wasted, once again…for far, far too long. I could have enjoyed my life much more had nothing ever happened, but now…I kinda am thankful. I know I learned a lot through everything…and 90% of the time I wish I didn’t have to learn it at all. At least at that time. But I find peace in knowing He has a reason. I am just impatiently waiting for that reason. I know through all the change taking place in my life at this time, my heart has and will continue to seek openness with my Jesus. For Him to do His good work in me as He promised in Romans 8:28. And there is still SO much that He can do.

And when i do find myself hurting, all I know I need is Jesus.

And maybe Jason Wade’s voice singing in the background…


Better Luck Next Time -Lifehouse

Sometimes we fall
Ain’t nothing new to me
Don’t get me wrong
I must say you gave up for this time now

Stop tell me where you going
Maybe the one you love isn’t there
You’re going under
But you’re over it all so you don’t care about all that I had to see
I’d watch you wait until you come around

Don’t close your eyes
You need to see it all
It’s no surprise
That they break you down
At least they won’t give you up

Stop tell me where you going
Maybe the one you love isn’t there
You’re going under
But you’re over it all so you don’t care about all that I had to see
I’d watch you wait until you come around

It’s all wonderful
Living happily
To lose it all
Think you have everything

Stop tell me where you going
Maybe the one you love isn’t there
You’re going under
But you’re over it all so you don’t care about all that I had to see
I’d watch you wait until you come around

Stop tell me where you going
Maybe the one you love isn’t there
You’re going under
But you’re over it all so you don’t care about all that I had to see
I’d watch you wait until you come around

I have a reason to sing

18 Dec

It’s funny when I travel down a familiar road, all my surroundings are the same…but my heart isn’t.

This time during my junior year of high school, the Alderwood mall finished its remodel. My friends and I spent at least one day a week at the mall, going through the same motions each time. I could bore you with the specific details, but it always involved parking on the 3rd floor, Lovesac, and Auntie Anne’s Pretzels.

I could go to the mall any other time of the year and not think twice about that time of my life…but once the Christmas comes around, memory lane rolls out with it. I was sucked into a world where Christ was not Lord back then, but I am thankful that I can look back at the time without much regret. I was naive, but what 16 year old isn’t? I am thankful for that period of my life, without those memories 6 years ago…and the people involved, i’d be a different person. It took years for me to find thankfulness…many painful years.

And yet, I found myself in a similar situation on my way home from the mall. Driving the same roads with me in my jeep…city lights in the distance, farmland to my left…everything was the same on the outside, but my heart is in a completely different place. And it made me sad, fore this battle is still being fought. This battle is still very real in my life…and it’s taking a lot more time than I’d like.

As I was driving down that road, “Desert Song” by Hillsong United was coming to a close – and my ears perked up as the last couple verses were being sung.

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I’m filled to be emptied again
The seed I’ve received I will sow

I know I’ve sung that song many time either during worship or in my car, but those words were new and  pierced my heart as needed. How do we sow what we have reaped? Not by mourning, that is for sure. My favorite verse of all time is

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-3

I can’t tell you how many times that verse has given me strength and encouragement. It’s good for me to go through trials, it’s how i mature 🙂 It’s a love-hate relationship with those trials, when i’m in one…i DESPISE it! But when I am not, i WANT ONE! Weird, eh? I actually craaave a trial, Justine and the d-group girls can testify to those very words coming out of my mouth, now knowing that a month after I said that, a trial hit….of course 🙂

There was something else that stuck out to me in the “Desert Song”

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He was the same God with the same thoughts and love for me while I was lusting over a boyfriend as he was while I was wishing that boy never existed. His thoughts of me don’t change, He always has and always will love me. I am favored by Him. And He will shower me all my life with His love and grace, I just need to branch out of the idols of my life and turn to Him for fulfillment and peace. With that being said, as “whole-hearted” was last week – this week’s topic has been all about grace.

What a waste….

15 Dec

Why is it in my free-time I turn to surfing the internet meaninglessly dreaming of vacations to Charleston, SC whilst I could be letting God be the center of that time? Now that I am out of school for the month, I have made plans to read books. Yes, books…I love me a good book on our walks with Christ – or personal testimony’s. One such book that has been on my list (and my roommate just so happens to own it, along with 2 others by the author) is Blue Like Jazz. I’ve heard phenomenal things from many people about this book – and I will be one of them once I am finished.

I think I am about 1/4 of the way through, and I honestly can say this book is already life changing. But please don’t ask me what it is about because I will probably give you some jumbled up answer, but basically it is about anything and everything having to do with our walks with Christ. Donald Miller has a gift of bringing many random thoughts and experiences to relate to one another to teach us about the Lord. There are times when I just have to stop reading and laugh, I think I’ve already done it twice (and like i said, i’m not even half way through!). If you have read it, you know what I’m talking about.

But even despite knowing how GREAT this book is – and how close it is within reach, I have not opened it all day. Instead, I chose to find cheap tickets to a far-fetched dream to Charleston this Summer. Maybe I’ll actually go…but I probably won’t. I have done the same thing many times this last year!

But alas, today is today and I will focus on today. Which includes me finishing up this meaningless blog and get to work and read that book.

So goodbye for the next 2.5 hours, readers. I am going to serve my Jesus.

You are all I need

8 Dec

Now, I am one of those people who don’t need to try very hard to be successful. Many things have come easy to me in my life, and while that may sound good to some, there is one HUGE downfall. Not having to try hard, means not giving my all. Most importantly in my relationship with the Lord, I don’t give my whole heart.

A couple weeks ago I had a dream, I can’t remember what it was about, but a name was given to me right before I woke up. Now, as any single girl would, I jumped to conclusions and thought that was the name of the guy I’d marry. But eventually I came to my senses and I began telling myself I was foolish – not that it isn’t possible, but I don’t want to be sound blinded by guys with that name. I had another idea…maybe I should look up the meaning of the name! So last night I did just that, and my heart slightly dropped. First, it’s a Hebrew name…it didn’t even occur to me that it was! And most importantly, the  meaning in Hebrew is “whole-hearted”.

It’s something I fail at…it’s easy for me to sliiiiiiide on by. I know the right words to say, times to raise my hands during worship, and how to act. But many times, it’s not whole-heartedly. I find myself struggling with my pride to realize that I am not a good person and I DO indeed need a Savior. I get so involved in the motions that I forget that I am in a relationship with the Lord.

I received unexpected grace (yet..when is it expected?) from a friend this past week. I didn’t quite know what to expect from the whole situation and I was scared I would ruin everything. He challenged me to really think and pray about where my time and thoughts are invested…in other people, myself, the internet? Check…check…and check. My thoughts need to be on Jesus, my time needs to be invested in Jesus, i need Jesus. Yet, my thoughts have been holding me captive.

It’s funny how certain words or themes come about each week as I have been doing my study with an awesome, awesome lady. This last week we focused on Colossians 2 for a Kay Arthur study. In verse 8 it tells us,

“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”

Kay Arthur mentions that “In Greek, the phrase ’empty deceit’ describes the philosophy which might take us captive.”

Verse 9 goes on to say…

“For in Him dwells ALL fullness of the Godhead bodily, and you are COMPLETE in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” and 15, “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

So pretty much all the fullness, everything is in Christ who makes ME complete. I don’t need facebook or people to fulfill me, I need Jesus. If I draw near to Him, He WILL draw near to me – that’s a promise. He is the only one who can fully fulfill us forever. So, I challenge you to do the same – focus more on Him, and less on the things of this world.

I’ve taken baby steps these last few days, but now that school is done and out of the way for this quarter…it’s time to really focus on my relationship with the Lord. It’s time for me to be whole-hearted about something. To go along with the theme of this week is my current favorite song by JJ Heller – All I Need (P.S. If you haven’t given her much of a listen, I suggest doing so! She’s awesome!)

I don’t need a thing
My good Shepherd brings me all
You are all I need
You let me catch my breath
Even in the valley of death
You are all I need

All I need to be complete is Your love
Your blood that covers me

You lift up my head
You provide the wine and bread
You are all I need
There’s no need to fear
Even with my enemies here
You are all I need

All I need to be complete is Your love
Your blood that covers me

Goodness and mercy are following me
You are all that I need
You make a home for me
With pastures of green as far as I see
You are all I need

All I need to be complete is your love
Your blood that covers me

to be like Him

6 Dec

Recently in the Upperroom we went over the story of the leper, found in Mark 1:40. If you haven’t heard it before, i’ll give ya a quick recap.

A leper came up to Jesus and said, “If  You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus had compassion on the man, touched him and told him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” and he was cleansed.

Now, I don’t know about you…but I wouldn’t want to touch a leper. It would be hard for me to find the compassion in the midst of fear and selfishness. But Jesus did and we are called to be like Him.

There is a couple in the shoppe right now who are older, and well…carry a scent that makes me seriously dread going inside their car. The lady is talking a little too much to me while I am trying to do my job, listen to my music, and keep to myself. I hate to use this term, but since she said it, i would…they’re a “charity case” on disability and social security. Something about them reminds me of the grandparents in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I think the lady has mentioned her husband is 71 at least four times…as well the story of how she got on disability. My first judgement is that she is trying to make us feel sorry for her, and i do to a point…but

When I read the story of the leper in Mark, I thought to myself, “oh, it would be EASY to have compassion on a person like that!”. Or even in James 2:1-13 where it says the following…

My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court? Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called? If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

But you know, when i read that…it does seem easy. But when the time to do some comes to play – it’s hard. I need to take a walk in their footsteps…why at 71 the guy could barely make it around, when my grandma who is in her late-70’s is still on the dance floor. I don’t know their story, but maybe if i had the amount of compassion Jesus has…I would have more compassion on them. But to get to that point, unless it is a gift, takes practice.

Compassion is something I have been lacking at…and just last night I prayed for more compassion. And it seems to me that my prayer was answered…

i haven’t forgotten my way Home

20 Nov

Many of my friends know of my obsession with the band Lifehouse. But what many of them don’t know is WHY that band (more specifically Jason Wade and his lyrics) are so important to me.

I do believe the Lord showed me that band at the most perfect time, to deliver me from unneeded pain and anxiety. At a time when I had to finally end a 2-year long battle within my heart in order to avoid jealousy and hatred. At a time when an important and dear friendship inevitably had to end. Jason Wade and the guys from Lifehouse were sort of an “escape goat” and what should have been a SUPER difficult time, turned out to be some of the best months of my life.

There was a time when i would post a note on facebook, at least once a week, about a Lifehouse song. I haven’t done that in a VERY long time, but friends – the time has come again 🙂

You’ve probably heard the song on the radio…but it was probably the cd version, which doesn’t bring the lyrics justice. So, while watching this video, please listen closely to the words Jason sings. It’s a beautiful song, and watching it live brings the words to life.


The broken clock is a comfort, it helps me sleep tonight
Maybe it can stop tomorrow from stealing all my time
I am here still waiting though i still have my doubts
I am damaged at best, like You’ve already figured out

I’m falling apart, I’m barely breathing
With a broken heart that’s still beating
In the pain, there is healing
In Your name I find meaning
So I’m holdin’ on, I’m holdin’ on, I’m holdin’ on
I’m barely holdin’ on to You

The broken locks were a warning You got inside my head
I tried my best to be guarded, I’m an open book instead
I still see Your reflection inside of my eyes
That are looking for a purpose, they’re still looking for life

I’m falling apart, I’m barely breathing
with a broken heart that’s still beating
In the pain (in the pain), is there healing
In Your name (in Your name) I find meaning
So I’m holdin’ on (I’m still holdin’), I’m holdin’ on (I’m still holdin’), I’m holdin’ on (I’m still holdin’)
I’m barely holdin’ on to You

I’m hangin’ on another day
Just to see what You throw my way
And I’m hanging on to the words You say
You said that I will be OK

The broken lights on the freeway left me here alone
I may have lost my way now, haven’t forgotten my way Home

I’m falling apart, I’m barely breathing
with a broken heart that’s still beating
In the pain(In the pain) there is healing
In Your name I find meaning
So I’m holdin’ on (I’m still holdin’), I’m holdin’ on (I’m still holdin’), I’m holdin’ on (I’m still holdin’),
I’m barely holdin’ on to You

I’m holdin’ on (I’m still holdin’), I’m holdin’ on (I’m still holdin’), I’m holdin’ on (I’m still holdin’),
I’m barely holdin’ on to You

I can’t lie – I am barely hanging on to Him. I am hanging on another day to see what He will throw my way – because I know He isn’t finished with me yet. But it’s hard. I constantly battle with comparing my life to the other girls my age -why are they married, and i’m not? Why do I have to feel like the odd girl out 90% of the time? Why do I constantly have to feel like there is no hope for me? Why did He have to give me the green light to love someone – only for it all to end and my heart left crushed once more? Why does it feel like I am constantly facing some sort of trial, can’t life just be easy? How am I supposed to heal from a broken heart  when there is a constant reminder of my brokenness?

I know the answer to many of those questions. I know He has me here for a reason. I know He isn’t finished with me yet – and that I need to give Him my all. I know, but it’s hard. It’s hard when it seems like there is no hope…when it feels like i am SO far away from Him. But I do hold on another day to see what He will throw my way – I know it’ll be okay. My broken heart IS still beating for a reason…to give Him the glory. There is healing in the pain, and I need this pain to bring me to my knees. There is joy to be found…I just need to open my eyes.

Lord, i know You haven’t forgotten me. But it feels like You have, please open my eyes so I may find joy and give You the glory. Please soften my heart of stone. Please forgive me of my selfishness.