Friday, December 31, 2010

Welcoming another year...

It's 45 minutes until 2011 begins. As i drove around town today i began asking myself what a new year means to me. I came up with lots of things!

-to EXPERIENCE God's grace and faithfulness
-to LOVE others well
-to make new FRIENDS
-to GROW
-to LEARN.....and the list goes on!


I don't remember ever being so excited to enter another year. This will be a huge year of transition, change, and trust as I transfer to a different school this semester. I believe this move was totally ordained by God as I watched Him open doors and move mountains. While this year will be met with the unknown and challenges that will require the strength and grace of the Lord, I am praising Him with anticipation for the things He has yet to do this year. He was faithful and good in 2010, and our unchanging God will do the same in 2011. 365 more days of praising God, relying on His grace, and seeking His face. What will 2011 mean to you?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My cup overflows...

"You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows."
Psalm 23:5

My cup overflows. I have written this post in my head multiple times today and could never quite find the words until I remembered this phrase from Psalm 23. My cup overflows. This sums me up right now. This sums up life with Christ always, yet so often I fail to see the overflow of His grace due to my selfish heart. The past month, though, has given me the chance to take the blinders from my eyes and seen the abundance of Christ in a new way. I have seen God's hand so clearly in my life, seen His power, seen His beautiful grace. With abundance, my cup overflows.

Today I sat down and updated the last year of all the poetry I have written into my poetry scrapbook. I dug through old journals, finding those words that blend together as the Lord gives them to me in those sweet times of prayer or fellowship. I found myself completely overwhelmed by God's faithfulness and His grace. I have been given second chances that were not deserved, salvation despite my sin. And I just wanted to go and tell anyone who would listen! I don't want people to go another day without knowing Him and His goodness. I have been reminded this past month of my tendency to limit my definition of God's faithfulness. So many times, when life goes MY way, I respond with, "God is so faithful!" And He IS! But part of our Christian walk is learning to say, "God is so faithful!" in the midst of a painful storm. As I read through years of poetry inspired by the Spirit, I saw myself write through trials and triumphs and every single time God proved Himself faithful. This month has been full of awe-inspiring answers to prayer, learning to trust God and people with the unknown, and seeing God's faithful hand over my past, present, and future. My cup overflows.

Today, seek His face with me. Be reminded of His faithfulness. May we be drawn even more in love with our Savior, and even more in awe of His abundant grace.

"Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep his commandments."
Deuteronomy 7:9

My cup overflows.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Highlights from the day :)

My sweet daddy had to work today so...we made our own fun around the house today and we're pretending Christmas is tommorow! Since he couldn't be here with us, I took pictures of our day so he wouldn't miss anything! :) And well, I know all of you really just couldn't make it without seeing every detail either haha ;) So here, in all my weirdness, is our Christmas day.

Starting the day with chocolate chip pancakes :)

While listening to the afore-mentioned Andrew Peterson and pondering the wonder of this day...

We opened one present- new sleds! And plenty of snow to use them with!

And...ridiculous pictures at the theater where we saw the fabulous Chronicles of Narnia movie!

Not forgetting the reason for this day...

"For unto us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government shall be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:5-6

Praise our God for this incredible gift of love!

Merry Christmas!

Voyage of the Dawn Treader

We went to see The Voyage of the Dawn Treader today. And I have 3 words. Amazing. Profound. Beautiful.

I almost cried several times throughout the movie, and others in my family had tears streaming down their faces at the end. Lewis' story is so beautiful when you look at in light of Christ. This movie portrayed that profound beauty so well. I wish that I had written down some of the lines so I could share them with all of you!

The plot of the movie (which you MUST discover for yourself!) is another journey to Narnia in which each of the characters are tested with fear and temptation. The depravity of man emerged as you saw human's innate tendency to turn to selfishness in each character's heart.

Lucy was my favorite character. She is now a blossoming teenage girl who is longing to be seen as beautiful, longing to be loved. Her desire for physical beauty becomes an idol to her, until Aslan gently shows her what it means to embrace the beauty given to you. God so gently does this with His children as well. He is so patient to remind us over and over again that He formed us and fashioned us. We need not do anything to change who we are.

Eustace, a new character introduced in this film, is a nasty boy until he is transformed by Aslan. When asked by Edmund and Lucy how it felt to be changed by Aslan he remarked, "It hurt, and I couldn't do it alone. But He helped me, and it was a good pain." Is that not how it feels to let God grip our hearts too? It hurts to let him in, let him scrape away the sinful parts but it's a good, freeing pain. It's beautiful.

Perhaps the most moving part of the movie, though, was when the characters are presented with an opportunity to see "Aslan's land." Once you go to this land, you may never come back. Reepecheep, the mouse, says, "My longing for that place can never be quenched. I could go on countless adventures in this place and never find my desire for Aslan's land fulfilled." Oh how that reflects a Christian's desire for heaven. That beautiful ache in our heart that reminds us that we are merely nomads, wanderers on this earth. Regardless of how many material possessions we aquire, that longing will not be fulfilled until we see God's face in Heaven. It will be beautiful!

So I left the theater feeling refreshed and encouraged. This movie is definitely worth seeing this Christmas break! :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


This Christmas CD is by far the most powerful, worshipful album I have ever heard. Andrew Peterson wrote all the songs himself, as you listen to him tell the "old, old story of the power of death undone by an infant born of glory." POWERFUL lyrics. I went the concert last year and cried all the way through it was just so beautiful.

Thought I'd share one of my favorites with you: Go down to the right and pause the music player!!

Gather round, ye children come
Listen to the old, old story
Of the power of death undone
By an infant born of glory,
Son of God, Son of Man

Gather round remember now
How creation held its breath
How it let out a sigh and filled
Up the sky with the angels
Son of God, son of man

So sing out with joy for the brave little boy
Who was God and He made himself nothing
Well he gave up his pride and he came here to die like a man

Therefore god exalted him
To the place of highest praises
And He gave Him a name above every name
That the very name of Jesus
Son of God, Son of Man

So in heaven and earth and below every knee would bow in worship every tongue would proclaim Jesus He reigns with the angels

Jesus came here to this earth for US, His children. So amazing!
Be blessed!

Remembering "Emma"

While home from college, I've done some rearranging and organizing in my bedroom. Tonight I was going through my keepsake boxes and I found these words written on it. That label on the box took me back nearly 5 years ago when I was in 6-7th grade. I was praying from the depths of my young heart for a little sister. We would name her Emma, my mom's next favorite girl name. She would be adopted from Guatemala, China, Ethiopia, I really didn't care. But with childlike faith I called out to God for this little girl who was out there somewhere waiting for her big sister to fly on a plane and come get her. The only problem is, the Lord's plan and mine didn't quite match up.

And so, 5 years later, this box sits in the top shelf on my closet, still etched with the name "Emma's clothes." Some of the clothes have been taken out, but there are still some there. The handmade blankets I made for dolls (or my baby sister) are still neatly folded in that box. Any other time, I would have pulled down that box, peered inside, and felt heartbroken. But tonight was different. I realize now, after all these years of waiting, that the Lord did answer my prayers. He said no. He saw my aching heart, longing to pour out my love on a little child. 5 years later, I can open that box with complete joy and peace, knowing that "Emma" was just another piece that God used to draw me closer to Himself and to the orphan. He used the disappointment of never having a sister to make me fall in love with Him, for He sustained me and filled the empty hole in my heart until one day, Lord willing, I will fill that hole with the love of my own daughter who will come from one of those countries. And maybe I will name her Emma.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Under the shadow...

I had a beautiful God moment 2 nights ago when I recieved a text from an unfamiliar number. I opened it to see that it was from a sweet, wise, caring, and very Godly woman from our church. I have met with her several times and she always offers a wise word from the Lord. She follows and hears the Lord's prompting more than anyone I've ever met, and I so respect her for it. She is definitely one of my role models and heros in Christ :)

Anyway, she texted just to say Merry Christmas and that she was praying Psalm 91 for me everyday. I was having a very rough day and was seeking the Lord asking Him to guard me from the enemy's lies that night. I immediately went to read what this psalm had to say and it was BEAUTIFUL. My soul was refreshed, and I have it hanging right by my mirror so I can look at it every morning as I get ready.

I'm praying it brings encouragement to someone else's soul as well.

Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.
Surely He will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the dakness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
you will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, "The Lord is my refuge, and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.
For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra, you will ttrample the great lion and the serpent.
"Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."

Amen. Amen. Amen. We rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Love this scripture, and I love you, Jesus!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Dear Ornoria, Claudia, Ani, and Maria,

All I really wanted to do today was buy you and your sweet Guatemalan sisters Christmas presents. I could just hear your squeals of delight at the darling pink clothes, glittery lip gloss, and baby dolls. But I can't get those to you, sweethearts.

I'm praying the mammas are handing out extra hugs for me today because my arms are aching to do that right now. I'm praying someone is there to whisper "Te amo, preciosa," in your ears because you need to be reminded of that. I'm praying He sends someone to remind you of your beauty, ornoria. Inside and out you are a gorgeous princess. I'm praying someone is there to tickle you, Ani and Maria. You couldn't get enough of that last summer.

But most of all, my heart is crying out to the Lord for you. For you, and for every last child who sits today without a family. I am claiming Isaiah 61:1-3 for you:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me

to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

to proclaim the Year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God,

to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-

to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,

the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of despair.

They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.

Isaiah 61:1-3

I will not relent in praying and seeking the Lord's face until justice is found for the orphans.
Keep your eyes on Him, sweet ones.

All my love,

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


In Bible study yesterday we did an excercise that I've never done before. We all took out paper and we're supposed to draw a picture or diagram of what our life with Christ looked like right now. In a little corner of the room, I attempted to draw my walk with the Lord. I prayed, asking Him to give me some insight into what He wanted me to learn through this.

The first thing I learned is that my artistic skills (or lack thereof) are incredibly frustrating haha.

The second thing I learned is that it's nearly impossible to put such an incredible thing such as the salvation into a picture.

Thankfully, words were able to flow better than a picture, so a poem is what developed instead. God really gave me a clear vision of my walk with Him as I wrote, and it was really neat to be reminded of where I've been, and His faithfulness to me. So here it is!

Never tried to put a picture to the seasons of my life
Put a mental image to the joy, victories, strife
But if I were an artist, I'd make the canvas be
A reflection of God's faitfulness displayed for all to see.
For even in disobedience, my Father was seated there.
Waiting for repentance, waiting for me to care.
And when I could barely trust Him, still He would guide my feet,
Waiting for me to surrender to a love I could not meet.
He has led, sustained, protected, my Redeemer, Savior, Lord
He has captivated my heart, drawn me to Himself and to His word.
If you're looking for a good excercise, try this one. Just sit down and pray and ask God to give you a picture (literally) of your walk with Him- both the past and the present. It's a wonderful reminder of His faithfulness.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Ponderings

Every year I find myself in awe of Christ. In awe of His sacrifice. And absolutely blown away by how beautiful the story of Christ's coming is. God could have sent Jesus to earth in so many ways, but He chose 2 simple people to parent this baby, the Savior of the world. I love thinking about Mary and Joseph. How great the call God had on them as the parents of Christ. How amazing that He grew up just as we do, yet He never sinned. I cannot even fathom what that must be like to have pure actions, pure thoughts, pure words, all the time. He grew up, had a thriving ministry in which He poured himself into the 12 disciples. And then the time came. He moved from the manger scene, from Bethlehem, from Nazareth, and onto a cross with a crown of thorns upon His head. This baby became a man who paid the price for the sins of His people. It is so beautiful. And I am so undeserving of His sacrifice. Yet He did it anyways because He LOVES us more than anything.

Act of Love

He left His home, His heavenly crown

To live upon the earth

This sacrifice when Love came down

To the manger for a lowly birth

His mother feared and trembled

In the midst of labor pains

His father wiped his temple,

A son and a Savior he was to gain.

Under the clear and starry sky

this precious babe was born

A night of sweet serenity,

A calm before the storm.

This tiny child would grow to be

The Christ, the King of Kings

In 30 years you'd find him,

hanging on a tree,

Paying for the sins of man,

Suffering for me.

How can I ever thank Him

For coming to earth that night.

His act of love has changed me

Giving grace, hope, forgiveness, light.


Saturday, December 4, 2010


Our family has so many fun and special Christmas traditions. Being away at school has been so hard because I know that we would be doing all of our usual Christmas preparations at home together if I were there.
But instead of wishing I were home doing them, I am instead looking AHEAD to when I do get to go home! And I thought I'd share some of the things we like to do!
1. Watching Christmas movies together
2. Making Christmas cookies
3. Annual gingerbread house making with my brothers- it gets more professional looking every year in my opinion :)
4. Decorating the house
5. Decorating the tree (we did that before I left!)
6. Going to local Christmas music performances
7. Listening to Christmas music and drinking hot cocoa/cider and eating cookies.
8. Going to my aunt and uncle's house to celebrate
9. Having my other aunt and uncle in from New York.
10. Christmas Eve service at our church- my personal favorite event of the whole season!
11. Making gifts for friends and family- I am on a huge time crunch this year for this one!
12. Recieving Christmas cards from everybody
13. Shopping
I'm sure there are more but there's just a few of my favorites :)
What are your favorite Christmas traditions?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Depraved Indifference

This is the most powerful video I have seen in a very long time. Please watch it.

Again and again my heart grieves for the needy. For the orphan. And while I do some things, i'm not living radically. I have depraved indifference. I don't have reckless faith.

"We must go, live to feed the hungry, stand beside the broken, we must go.

Stepping forward, keep us from just singing, move us into action. We must go."

-Tim Hughes


It's amazing how God wired us to crave fellowship.

Connecting with other humans, family and friends, other forgiven sinners, brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Today, however, I find it amazing that I can find "fellowship" in so many ways but never even see a person.


How our world has transformed our social lives.

I will even venture to say that we are lonelier because of it. Hurting hearts are crying out to be heard, and instead, they are sucked into a virtual world of friends. Not that these things can't be good. Reading blogs has been a huge way that God has grown my passion for orphans, and drawn me closer to him. I have LOVED getting to meet all of you as well (so keep commenting)! :) Emails keep me connected to people. Texting is wonderful for keeping up with friends and family.

But in the onslaught of technological social outlets, I feel like we have lost sight of the fellowship God intended us to have. Listening to eachother talk about life. Real life stuff. Laughing and rejoicing together. Crying together. Praying for eachother. Digging into the word together. Growing closer to God together and falling more in love with Him in the process.

I'm craving a good ole' conversation over a cup of hot cocoa (since I don't drink coffee!) :)

Yes i would probably cry. But there'd be lots to laugh about too. Lots to praise God about. Lots of things to ponder, pray, and brainstorm about. God put us on this earth because it was not good for man to be alone. So why are we turning to our computers to fill this need for friendship and fellowship?

Perhaps it is because we have lost trust in people. We live in a fallen world and so disappointment and hurt are bound to happen. Perhaps we know we will be faced with dissapointment and so we don't even try. Or maybe we're scared to love in case we get hurt. Our heavenly home is the place that we will find perfect fellowship. We will never lose trust in people, never be hurt, never be talked to behind our backs. We will never be lonely, never be searching for fellow believers in which to call "friend." We will be living life together in perfect unison, all for the same purpose of glorifying the Father! Imagine how many people we will meet?! Day after day there will be someone new, a new story to hear. I get so excited thinking about that.

For today, though, we have been called to this earth. A sinful earth, yes. A place where fellowship will be made up of sinners who are guarenteed to mess up along the way. But today, I am praying that God would enable me to be an instigator of Christian fellowship here where I'm at. To rejoice, cry, pray, learn, and grow with others that we may reflect the Church, the body of Christ well.