Saturday, March 20, 2010

An encouraging word..

I've been working through "Jesus Calling" as part of my devotional and have found my heart encouraged every single morning.

I needed to hear this one yesterday and if you're anything like me, then you're always thirsty for an encouraging word.

An short excerpt from the devotional: "I shower blessings on you daily, but sometimes you don't perceive them. When your mind is stuck on a negative focus, you see neither Me nor My gifts. In faith, thank Me for whatever is preoccupying your mind. This will clear the blockage so that you can find Me."

I feel like there are some days where we truly are just wading through life to find God.

What if instead of dwelling on our struggles, anxieties, etc. we thanked God for them.

I did that this morning and found JOY.

"Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."
2 Corinthians 5:5

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."
2 Corinthians 3:17

Have a blessed weekend! :)

3 years....

3 years ago...
This week was a blur of life-changing moments in beautiful Guatemala...

I came home changed. Never to be the same. It was the starting point of a journey I wasn't expecting, an adventure far more challenging than any I would have volunteered for.

But God knew. And it's been 3 years of praying for this sweet little girl. My love for her has only grown, and along with it my passion for the orphans.

The heaviness on my heart last night was overwhelming as I pondered that first trip to Guatemala. I couldn't help but think about Claudia. Think about the chains of paperwork that have entangled her and thousands of others. And it was alot to think about.

This poem doesn't even come near to encompassing all that I held in my heart last night, but it's a little glimpse.

3 Years
3 Years, 36 months
Thinking and praying for you
Phone calls, emails, and letters
But there is nothing we can do
To get you home,
Sweet little girl
Oh how I love you
through and through
So I place you, place you
In the arms of a loving God
For He's promised not to leave you
He will keep you safe from harm
Maybe someday
I'll come find you
After all those years of waiting
There'll be nothing I'd rather do
Than to get you home
Sweet little girl
Oh how I love you
Through and through

"For I know the plans I havefor you,' declares the Lord, ' plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

"How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings." Psalm 36:7
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy one of Israel, your Savior......Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the West. I will say to the north, 'Give them up!'and to the south, 'Do not hold back!' Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth- everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made." Isaiah 43:2-3, 5-7
Father, I cling to these promises and know that they are true. You are a faithful God and for that I am thankful. I pray, Lord, that you would gather our children from the east and the west. Please bring the fatherless home to their families. I look with hope to the future and trust that You have great things in store not only for Claudia but all of the other children as well!

Monday, March 15, 2010

How good of God to give us reminders of His glorious splendor and beauty!

Birthday Celebrations

My wonderful mom had a birthday this weekend! We spent Friday night together as a family, took her out to Chili's for queso dip and chips, and came back for presents and birthday cake! It was a really great night. Happy Birthday Mom! I'm so blessed to have you! :)

Glimpses of the future..

These are some shots I got a couple weekends ago while visiting my college for next year. I did lots of picture editing this weekend!

Friday, March 12, 2010


Oh what I wouldn't do to give you 4 beauties a home.
What I wouldn't give to be your mama and give you all that you deserve, all the bedtime stories, library trips, and cuddles that you've missed out on these past years.
You are all beautiful.
You are all precious, and you are loved by many.
Our God is MIGHTY to SAVE.
Please Lord make it soon so these girls will know the beauty of family.


How is it....

That this face still grips my heart just as much as it did 2 years ago?

How is it....

That I still cry and smile, all at the same time when I see her.

How is it...

That I'm approaching my 3 year anniversary of meeting this incredible girl.

Claudia, I still wake up everyday and see your face on my bedside table. I still pray everyday that someway somehow you will have a family. I'm so sorry that in 3 years nothing has changed and you're still in an orphanage. It breaks my heart to the core.
And if you ever read this someday, thank you for putting on your brave little smile for your pictures every month. It means the world to me to see your beautiful smile. I don't think I could bear it if you weren't happy. Keep sharing your smile and infectious smile with everyone you meet.
Te amo mi amiga,

Monday, March 8, 2010

Until next year...

This is for all the family who didn't get to watch Noah's basketball games this year!
Their team really did quite well and Noah got more playing time than ever before!
Congratulations my little bro! I can't wait to come home from school next year to see more of your games!

Goodbye Shaggy Boy...

I love this kid so much.

My sweet, sensitive, funny, caring, hard-working little brother of mine.

He's had this long, shaggy hair for the past 2 years. And he decided on Thursday that it was time for the hair to go!

And now, this sweet, sensitive, funny, caring, hard-working little brother of mine looks like a man.
He already towers over me, but the haircut makes him look even taller.
He looks stronger.
And...he just is looking grown-up. No more little baby brother.
But the sweetness of this growing-up has produced a precious friendship between he and I.
And for that I am so thankful.
I love you Caleb!

So much to come

Oh my I have alot to blog about!

The faithfulness of God has permeated my every hour this weekend, and it was breathtakingly beautiful and overwhelming.

The past 2 years has been a loooonnngggg season of college searching. It has been an absolute rollercoaster with numerous changes in plans and disappointments. Yet- it has also been filled with incredible lessons and experiences. I can honestly say I would not be the person I am today if I'd had a "normal" college search.

This past weekend, I attended a "pre-orientation" at a small, Christian liberal arts school in a neighboring state. And God said to me, "My daughter, this is the place for you."

Thank you Jesus! We had a lovely banquet, fellowship time, opportunity to meet friends for next year, placement testing, an Honors program interview, met my roommate, and I put together my schedule for fall. After my schedule had been made I went into the bathroom and sat there for a few minutes before my interview. Tears were filling up my eyes with the enormity of what God has done. Relief was flooding over me. For the past few months I had wondered if there was a school out there for me at all. But God knew!

And so it was with amazement and excitement that I told people of my plans for next year all day yesterday. My heart is filled with joy and I can feel a spring in my step :)
I want to thank all of you who prayed for me the past 2 years, gave me advice, and gave me HOPE to keep pushing on! The finish line is here!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Take this day...

Jesus you amaze me. Your beauty displayed in ALL creation. Your glory and majesty in the color and details of this world we live. Your faithfulness and steadfast love declared in the intricate story you are weaving in our lives.

I thank you for another day. Another sunrise, the warmth of the sun coming in the window this morning. Another day to live and breathe and praise you, my Father.

I give you this day, it is Yours. Do with it what You will. I ask for patience, wisdom, and understanding as I navigate this life. May You speak through the people I meet today, may Your love radiate from me.

Take this day and use it for Your glory. Not just in my life but in Your kingdom. I love you Jesus.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Like a River Glorious

Like a River Glorious > Lyrics Frances R. Havergal:
"Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.

Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.

Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully all for us to do;
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true."

I accompany our church's Jr. Choir every week. Each rehearsal, the director picks a hymn for the kids to sing. She has a book that tells the history of the song, and then we sing it together while I play. We've been focusing on the hymn, Like a River Glorious, the past week, and I have found it so incredibly fitting to my life right now. I have found my mind going back to it several times, pondering the words, and praising God for His peace that is like a river glorious.

His peace is perfect. Absolutely perfect. And it grows deeper every day. There are so many things in this world I look for to find peace and security: material possessions, money, family, friends, and even church. Yet here I have a perfect peace right in front of me. I need not search further than the Savior.

I love the phrase, "Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand." It was interesting to hear the kids' interpretations of this part of the song. We finally concluded that it was as though God was holding His hand in a fist, and we are nestled safely inside, completely protected from all harm. As the storms of life rage, the trials come, and I become anxious, I can rest in the fact that I am hidden in the hollow of His hand.

This last verse just hits my heart right where i need to be pricked. Trust. God has placed every joy and trial in our lives for a reason. The author of this hymn writes, "those who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true." I can trust God, and without a doubt, know that He is fully faithful to His promises to provide for me, and He has a plan for my life.

May His peace wash over your souls this week as you ponder these beautiful words....