Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday

What a day!! I'm home, lying on the couch after surgery, and finding many many things to be thankful for.

1. A GOOD surgery!
2. I had the sweetest nurses who were gentle and caring. It was just what I needed.
3. Very tolerable pain. In fact, God has been so good. I haven't had to use the stronger pain meds yet- and i'm praying I won't have to! For now, Tylenol and Aleve have been enough.
4. I felt so loved with a delivery of flowers and balloon from my church family. What a blessing that was. Then, another family from church brought by ice cream and a card. So sweet.
5. And, today, I can justify my thankfulness for ice cream. My parents have promised a milkshake from DQ tonight. yaaay. My diet is pretty limited right now to foods that I can just swallow.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!


Tuesday, January 27, 2009


"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6

On Thursday I'm going in for some oral surgery. I have a very strange mouth. My dentist has called it "an orthodontic challenge." Yaay! That's just what you want to hear. Anyway, I'm missing 4 adult teeth, 2 on each side. Thursday I'm going in to have the first operation done so that i can get implants. Yikes! So while my mind has been consumed this week with thoughts of the surgery, what could go wrong, etc I keep guiding my thoughts back to Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous
the Lord goes with you
He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you!

What incredible promises our God has given us!! He knows our hearts, knows that we are "prone to wander," prone to fear and doubt. So He gives us promises like these to keep our faces towards Him. I know that I will sit there in that chair absolutely shaking, trying to hold back tears (I sobbed last time i had oral surgery lol!). But I also know that my God is with me and He will NOT leave me. He will quiet my fears and hold me close through it all!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

44 days...

The past two weeks have been a flurry of activity and preparations. The Lord, in His abundant love and mercy, has opened the door for me, my brother Caleb, and my Dad to go to Guatemala in March. 44 days away!! We ordered our tickets today, reserved our room, and are excitedly talking about all that we'll do while we're there. We will be returning to Eagle's Nest Orphanage in Solola, where I've been twice.

I wrote in a poem after my first trip that I had left part of my heart in Solola. Not a day goes by that I don't think about Guatemala and the incredible experiences I had there. I get so excited thinking about going back!! I am the only one that speaks Spanish in my family, and I love the thrill and adventure of communicating with these people. I love knowing that I'm needed there, both as a translator for my dad and brother and as a worker at the orphanage. It's very rewarding, and as I think about my life, that week in Guatemala was the time that I felt the most "full" or "alive." In Captivating, they talk about the 3 greatest longings of a woman's heart: to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty. While I wasn't romanced in Guatemala lol I felt so valuable and appreciated as I took on the challenge of exploring a completely new enviroment, using my Spanish skills to get my Dad and I places, and communicating with the mamas at the orphanage. I loved having children pull at the ends of my shirt begging to be held. They wanted me. They wanted my love and attention. But oh how I digress!! It will be an exciting week, full of growth and challenge as the Lord takes me there, where a piece of my heart still is. It will be stretching but I'm excited. Just another 44 days...


"The desire to be beautiful, to have a beauty all our own to unveil is not primarily about our looks. It is a desire to be captivating in the depths of who we are."
Captivating by Stasi Eldgredge

"This isn't about dresses and makeup. Beauty is so important that we'll come back to it again and again in this book. For now, don't you recognize that a woman yearns to be seen and to be thought of as captivating? We desire to possess a beauty that is worth pursuing, worth fighting for, a beauty that is core to who we truly are. We want beauty that can be seen; beauty that can be felt; beauty that affects others; a beauty all our own to unveil."
Captivating by Stasi Eldgredge

I've been reading the book Captivating with my mentor, Lisa the past couple of weeks. We're only on the second chapter but already I have found that this book is absolutely incredible, and ultimately a life/heart/attitude-changing book. I have wanted to blog about it for awhile now but I feel like I'm so personally/emotionally involved in it that I couldn't tell you all about it without emptying my heart onto the internet, which I don't want to do lol!!

So instead, I just want to encourage the women out there to read this book. It has helped me:
1. Identify lies that I have believed about myself, who I am, and who God made me to be.
2. Work through my feelings and try to bring about healing and truth.
3. Realize that my longings, dreams, and feelings were placed by God!!! He created the heart of a woman in such a unique way and I am not alone. I, along with hundreds of thousands of Christian women, experience the same battles I do.
4. Understand men better and see how God intended us to be!
5. Confirm the strong beliefs I have about guarding my heart, that it will be worth it in the end.

In the end, I pray that because of this book, I will see myself for who I truly am in God's eyes, and ultimately use that freedom and knowledge to grow and serve others better. I strongly encourage you to read this book and get the journal!! It helps SO much!


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pray for a Miracle!!!

3 sweet children are in Ethiopia right now waiting to come home.

Their paperwork is in the hands of a government official, who needs to sign one letter for these precious kids to come home to their forever family, the Semlows.

You can read the full story here:

Prayer warriors, we must petition the throne room for this family. Pray that these kids would be released from this mess of paperwork and freed to join their family. Our God is a God of miracles and we're trusting Him to bring these children home.

"I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you."
John 14:18

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

If only!! :)

I babysat those two adorable boys again last night and as usual, Grant was just precious when I put him to bed. I totally understand now why bedtime is the best time of the day for all of you mommies out there. We'd just finished reading books and I was tucking him in. He started gently stroking my hair and talking with me. How cute is that?!! The sweetness and innocence of a child was so obvious in that moment! I didn't want to leave!! I finally pulled away and as I walked down the steps i thought to myself If only I could go to college to get a degree in Wife and Motherhood!!! That's all I want to do anyway!!! What a degree that would be?!! lol! Ahh... someday!! For now I can just love on all of these other kids!! :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sweet Reminder

I needed a reminder of God's love and plan for me today so I went up to my room to seek refuge in His word. And it never fails. I knew where to go to find comfort and reassurance!!! His very words soothed my heart. So... I thought I'd post the encouraging words that I found in my little refuel today. Because it never hurts to be reminded of His great love for us:

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

Psalm 57:9-11

I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 63:1-5

God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

I hope your day is brightened by these precious words from our God!!! He loves us unconditionally, always, forever. Praise Him!!! His plan is complete, His timing perfect, His wisdom no one can fathom. Great isour God and worthy to be praised!


Thursday, January 8, 2009

What's Up???

I really never have gotten used to the phrase, "What's up??" I still lamely respond, "I'm good. How are you?" So people don't usually ask me that again lol.

Anyway, I realized it's been a long time since I posted!!! So what's up in my life:

1. The past month has been pretty exciting and challenging for me as I've made the decision to consciously live more healthily (if that's a word....). I hadn't blogged about it yet because I wasn't sure I was going to be able to keep it up but I'm determined!! So for me, healthy living has consisted of: going to the gym 3 times a week, making healther food choices, and having only one "sweet food item" a day. I now actually enjoy going to the gym and I wish that I could go everyday. I notice a big difference in the way I feel physically and emotionally on the days that I excercise. And, while it's no fun to have extra fruit instead of some chips, it's rewarding to get done with a meal and know that I didn't just put junk in my body. Of course, I splurge once in awhile. I had those amazingly yummy buttery breadsticks at Fazoli's, I made a batch of brownies. It's just all about moderation. And what would life be if we didn't treat ourselves to a yummy snack once in awhile?!!

2. Work has been fun the past week because one of my best friends is doing a 2-week internship at our office for "Winterim" at the christian school. So I've taught her all about the typewriter, insurance claims, charts, and more. We've had lots of laughs! I'm just enjoying seeing her once a day for 2 whole weeks! :)

3. The cold weather has returned again. Ugh... but no ice yet, which i'm thankful for! I got a couple of warm puffy vests for Christmas so i've had fun making use of those!

4. I've made a considerable amount of progress in Chemistry the past week and I feel like I have a better handle on it now. I'm thankful for a smart Dad and friend to help me. :) Thank you guys!

5. And... I can't think of anything else to share....

So thanks for checking in!!!


Friday, January 2, 2009

Blessing Blanket

Corinne and I finished Libi Faith's blessing blanket. It's sewn together with fabric that family and friends gave the Arnolds when they adopted sweet Libi. We had fun working on this project for them and it was a joy to deliver it to them!! :) What a blessing Libi is.

Here's some pictures of our project!! Be sure to check out our website: if you haven't already done so! :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Well.. it is a new year!! As I think about this concept of a new year my mind goes 2 places.

First, I think about all that God has done in the past year. When I think about 2008, I am so thankful for such an incredible year!!!! WOW!!! There were some trials, in which He showed His faithfulness and love to me again. And, of course, there was an incomprehensible amount of blessings and joys!! Oh how I have just soaked up the gift of Christ-like love played out in my friendships this year.

Secondly, I look with eager anticipation for what God has in store for me this coming year!! What plans does He have?!! What does this next year hold?? There have been many blog posts about New Year's Resolutions, some who are for resolutions and some who are against. When I think about next year I feel excited and also a little overwhelmed. I'll be making alot of decisions and finishing up a pivotal year as far as academics go. I think of the song "Blessing" by John Waller, where he says:

every blessing and curse is a choice now
and we willchoose to be a blessing for life
let it be said of us
that our hearts belonged to Jesus
let it be said of us
that we spoke the words of life
let it be said of us
that our heritage is blessing for life

I can CHOOSE how to live my life for this next year, and always. I

can embrace this season,

this chapter that God has given me and choose to be a blessing!

Or I can always focus on what could be,

what I want, and make me and everyone else miserable lol.

I do not want to do that.

So my prayer for this next year is

that my attitude would be one that is glorifying to God,

that my speech flows with the love of Christ,

that my hands are never used for wrong deeds

but to serve, offer a hug, hold a trembling hand.

I pray that my life would be a blessing to all of you,

my family, my dear friends, and all who I come into contact with.

May He bless you greatly!!