Friday, February 25, 2011


Some people run because they LOVE it.

Some people run for a number on the scale.

Not me.
I run so I can eat this:
So to all those "avid runners" out there who are really just doing it so they can eat some ice cream at the end of the day....join the club :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My heart is torn...

Between here.
And here.
Holding this precious little princess they named Isabella Grace...
Or nestling this tiny 10-day old baby boy in my arms...
Not gonna lie.... my heart is struggling.
I feel like I'm missing out on so much.
Spending hours studying while there's so much work to do for the Kingdom.
Yet, the Lord is so tenderly showing me that His work for me is right here.
I received an email asking me to tutor a senior in high school from Puerto Rico.
I get to show the love of Jesus to this girl through smiles and gentle instruction every week.
God's faithfulness just boggles my mind.
And I'm trusting that someday it will be time for me to hold those precious babies...
serve the broken foster children....
be a mama to the fatherless.
But today, He's put me here and I will rejoice!

"For I know the plans I have for 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

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Who am I?

Who or what defines me?

This question has been rolling around in my head today. And, I have the right answers in my head too. The problem is, I know that I don't always live by them.

I KNOW that I am a daughter of Christ, forgiven, redeemed, saved by the blood of the lamb. I am beautiful in the eyes of the King, precious, and dearly loved. NOTHING I say, think, or do can make Him love me any less. NOTHING I say, think, or do, can break the bonds of grace that hold my forgiven heart.

I know this stuff. But do I believe it??

"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith-that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."
Ephesians 3:14-19

Our identity as sons and daughters of Christ does not lie in our performance or success. It's not grounded on what we see when we look in the mirror, a number we see when we step on the scale, a grade we see when we get a test back. At the end of the day, regardless of what the GPA is, regardless of how other people may view us, regardless of the fact that we failed people and expectations, we are HIS. And I am choosing to rest in that fact today. Choosing not just know, but believe in my heart that I am HIS. He chose me, adopted me, and LOVES me more than I can know.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I spent the last night tutoring some men who work at the local Mexican restaurant. They speak only Spanish. A group of students go over every week to tutor them and I was very nervous about how it would go. We spent an hour and a half there, writing word after word. Sometimes they'd get it, and other times I'd look with sadness at the blank yet frustrated look on their faces.

Not coincidentally, the Lord placed me with a high schooler from Guatemala.

He asked me what I want to do after college and I told him that I'm planning on being a hospital translator. In his broken English he said, "Oh, you be very good at that."

We all laughed over confusing English terms (who invented this language anyways?!!) like..foot and feet. Why not feets? Mouse and mice...why not mices?

We talked about the word "to study." Study, studying, studied, student. One of the boys looked at us and said, "So me and him are the students. And you and her are the teachers!" Yes, I am your teacher. But I have so much to learn from you.

It was a night of encouragement and laughter.

But it was also night of remembering.

A night of remembering the story that God is weaving with Spanish in my life.

Remembering this deep love and passion I have for these people and this language.

Remembering that, despite the months that have passed, there's still a piece of my heart in Guatemala that swells at the reminder of the orphanage or that country.

Remembering the cute accent the kids would have when I taught them English words. My eyes filled with tears and I looked away from the group when I heard my new Guatemalan friend saying the same words I'd taught the little girls last summer. Memories flooded my mind and I was taken back to the incredible work God has done at an orphanage on a mountaintop in Guatemala.

Remembering that there is a reason why God has led me to this school, this tiny little town that has more opportunities for Spanish than I have time for.

Remembering why God miraculously opened doors for me to study in Spain this summer that I might communicate more effectively.

Remembering the joy that I have when I get to use this language. The delight when I can use the gift of Spanish to help others. Seeing the spark in the eyes of the students when they finally understand what we were saying.

Remembering that while I only see a few of the tiles, God sees the whole mosaic of my life. A picture and a story. As I watch the Blocks pack up their family and move to Eagles Nest, I was reminded that nothing is impossible with God (you should read their blog...i wish i could hang out with them they are one of my heros!).

I have no idea where this will take me. I have no idea how this semester, this summer, this year will connect to the rest of my future. But I know that God is good, God is faithful, and He has a plan.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


This precious, precious little baby was plucked from a garbage pile today, and taken to Eagle's Nest (the orphanage I've been to in Guatemala). She is now warm and clean, and I can only imagine the yummy baby smell and soft skin. Her tummy is full, and according to the latest update, she is sleeping soundly in her new bed.

She doesn't have a name. Nobody knows her birthdate. Nobody knows what heartache brought her dear mother to leave her. Abandon her. Nameless, parentless, cold, hungry. Yet, this beautiful little princess was chosen by God's mercy to live today, for such a time as this.

I feel at times as though I'm being smacked in the face with the pain of this world since coming to a secular school. Discussions of abortion and God have made my heart ache for the coming of Christ, yet long for more time so that the lost can come to know the Lord.

I spent the afternoon feeling overwhelmed and confused about what God has for my life. After searching for Scripture on discernment and wisdom, I talked with my wonderful (earthly) Daddy who helped me sort out my thoughts. God has given me a love for the orphan for a reason. God has given me a love for Spanish. God has given me the opportunity to study in Spain. God has given me the chance to study at a college where I can receive an education that allows me to find a job and help support my family and further the kingdom. I have been chosen to be a Spanish major at this school for such a time as this.

I went to my first Spanish-speakers club meeting and was reminded of all the awesome opportunities to serve the Hispanic people. Helping 50 year old men who can't properly write their name in English. Sitting with 4th graders who arrived from Mexico just last week, thrown into a world of English and new culture. These people have been chosen by God.

How beautiful are the puzzle pieces of life. They're all flying at me a little bit too fast for me to process, yet it's beautiful just the same. Pieces chosen for such a time as this.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Jesus Loves Me

3 words we use so often,
yet none could ever comprehend
The depth, the height, the breadth of them
I will never understand.

Yes, Jesus loves me,
but how much I'll never know
Yes, the Bible tells me,
He has washed us white as snow.

In a day where love is a cheapened word
The value, the price is lost.
But then I remember He died for me.
He loved at such a cost.

Yes, Jesus loves me,
but how much I'll never know.
Yes, the Bible tells me,
He has washed us white as snow.

Here I stand so tiny,
Just like a grain of sand.
Yet His love's vast as the ocean,
an expanse I'll never understand.

Yes, Jesus loves me,
but how much I'll never know.
Yes, the Bible tells me,
He has washed us white as snow.


Let His love wash over you today!
Be blessed!


"Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him....Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. And my Father will love him, and he will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me."
John 14:21, 23-24

My bible study lesson today was on love. Rather appropriate, isn't it? This passage talks about the relationship between love and obedience. I've heard these verses so many times but never have they sunken into my heart so much as they did this afternoon as I pondered them.

The Lord has been chipping away at my self-righteous pride this past month and I don't like seeing the pieces fall to the ground. They are ugly. And there is still so much more to get rid of. I think of myself as such a good Christian. Such a good person. And yes, I can pull off that identity on the outside. But what's going on in my heart? What's my attitude like? How do I treat others? What do my quiet times look like? I could go on and on but these are just some examples.

If I truly love God, I will seek to know and keep His commands. That is what these words in John are saying. So those nudges that God gives me, or those moments where I know I should choose the Bible over Facebook. While this Scripture can be applied to big decisions of obedience, I was convicted over those little decisions. Those little choices that say, "Yes, Lord, I love time with you more than time on the internet. Yes, Lord, I will be this girl's friend because I love You and Your people more than my reputation." It's keeping His commands that shows our love for Him.

If we love Him, we will keep His commandments.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Valentines....

These little ones are my valentines. I'm praying and trusting that one day they will spend their Valentine's day knowing the love of a mommy and daddy.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The view from here

As you can tell, I'm currently procrastinating on my homework. Not sitting at my desk. Not learning the aforepictured (new made-up word) :) stack of Spanish flashcards. Instead, I'm giving you a tour of my life at this very moment. You're welcome. :)

Glorious beauty

I was overcome by the glorious beauty of our Creator during the recent blizzard that hit our campus. Our God has the power to cover entire states with a blanket of snow so deep that life as we know it is paused until we can recover. Yet despite the inches of falling snow, and the changes in our schedules, the sun still rose and shone its warmth on us as we treked through the fluffy whiteness to take pictures. The sky was still blue, and God was still the same. And I think He was pretty proud of that beautiful blizzard :)

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways;
he does great things beyond our understanding.
6 He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’
and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’
7 So that everyone he has made may know his work,
he stops all people from their labor.
Job 37:5-7

“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
or seen the storehouses of the hail..."
Job 38:22
"Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow."
Psalm 51:7

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD.

“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool."

Isaiah 1:18

A God Who Hears...

For years in high school, and into the beginning of college, I experienced a painful loneliness. Being homeschooled limited my social life, and while I was blessed with a fantastic youth group and several close friends, that aloneness still was a shadow over my heart. For years I have prayed for more friends. Godly, Christian friends who would fill my life and heart with truth...encourage me to be a woman of God...reach my full potential...and He heard. He heard my cry all along. With each year that passed I grew closer to Him, learning to rely on Jesus for my every need.

God ALWAYS answers our prayers. Sometimes His answer is "Yes," other times it is, "No," and still at times He may say, "Not now." It is our job as His children to say, "Yes, Lord, YOU know what is best for me. And you LOVE me! I trust you with my heart, relying on your grace to see me through."

After waiting and praying He gave me this...
"I call out to the Lord, and He answers me from His holy mountain."
Psalm 3:4

"I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer."
Psalm 17:6

"He will call on me, and I will answer Him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him."
Psalm 91:15

Be blessed!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Jesus, Lord, Savior, King
Out of our moths praises ring

An endless list of glorious names
we give to God, our voices raise

Each one is different, yet much the same
Describing His beauty, matchless grace

Yet everybody has a favorite one,
A name they use to approach the Son.

Sometimes it's Jesus, forgiver of sins,
or maybe Redeemer, for they've been saved from within

Whatever the name, it's used for a reason
The heart finds it soothing to have a name for that season

For me, I pray "my Father," or "Abba"
After seeing the orphans in Guatemala

I realized that God makes the perfect daddy
No matter our sin, He loves us madly

So I praise Him for His fatherly care,
Appreciating it now I know that it's not always there...

On this earth, but yes, in heaven we see,
Our Father looking down and we can joyful be.


I wrote this poem after pondering a small group discussion we had last week. We talked about who God is, and how every name for Him is so perfect. Each quality and character attribute blends together to make the beautiful Being that He is. We also talked about how we each tend to pick particular names to use when we pray. These are often chosen because we personally appreciate that attribute about God. As I thought about this, I realized that I always pray "Father." I didn't always used to do this. It was only after I went to Guatemala that the realization of God as our Father really sunk into my heart. It is such a comfort to me that He is a Father to the fatherless, a Daddy to the orphan, a Protector and Provider to those children who are so dear to me.


Majors, minors, lawyers, designers
A plan for our life, a course to unfold

With classes abounding, our options astounding
Careers for our future, to make a way in this world

There's so many choices and so many voices
I struggle to hear God's whisper come in.

Deep down I desire to be a wife and mother
Give the fatherless a home, see people saved from their sin.

So I wait here in college, with confident knowledge
that the Lord will direct, His will, His plan.

Not a class will be wasted, for I have tasted
The redemption of God, the hope of man.


All of life is full of decisions. If you're not deciding one thing, you're waiting on more information to decide another! In college, we're faced with the big decision of what we want to do for the rest of our lives. There's hundreds of majors and minors to choose from. Everyone changes their minds a million times and then half of us probably won't even end up doing what we studied in the first place! But, I feel like we're supposed to at least give our best effort in making a good decision. So I feel like I'm kind of stuck in the middle right now. Deep down in my heart, I just long for my life and my future to be what God wants. But, I'm being reminded that the Lord gives us freedom in choices as well.
So...I ponder my gifts, talents, and passions and try to come up with an option that blends them all together knowing that in the midst of my confusion I can praise Him for His plan!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My First Love

Although I am changing You’re unchangeable oh God
You will be my first love, be my first love
And for all the changes that You lead me through oh God
You will be my first love, be my first love

Every morning when the sun comes up
And every evening when the day is done
You will be my first love, be my first love
Even when You fill my heart’s desires
Even when You are consuming fire
You will be my first love, be my first love

Although I am shaken You’re unshakable oh God
You will be my first love, be my first love
So let my idols crumble You’re unshakable oh God
You will be my first love, be my first love

May every day and every way I live bring glory to You Lord. Be my first love

My new favorite song that fills my heart with utter joy, gladness, and hope.
Be blessed!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Still In My Heart...

Almost a year into college, and the love is still there.
The memories still implanted into my mind.
The passion still bright and burning.
The desire to pull them out of the bondage they're in.
The yearning inside of me to make every day count for something.
They're still in my heart.
This calling seeps its way into every facet of my life.
Everyone is declaring their majors and minors at school.
If I could major in "helping the orphan" I would do it in a second.
I love these children, all 169 million.
All 168,000,930 that I haven't even met. I ponder this world and this calling to spread the Word,
serve the orphan, and care for the widow.
I remember our Abba Father who is so good and faithful.
He began a good work in us, and will continue it until it is finished.

He has a plan for every child. He has a plan for all of us, and a place for us to serve.
All we have to do is follow and obey.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


"May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God."
Romans 15:5-7

I have been welcomed. Ushered in. Invited. I have entered into a community of believers unlike any I've ever met. Everyday is full of real people living real life with real struggles. They laugh a lot, live in the moment, and enjoy life. But they also go deep. They are vulnerable with their brothers and sisters in Christ, humbly confessing sin and struggle, asking for prayer with tears on their face. Admitting they messed up and asking your forgiveness. They talk about the hard stuff in life, and encourage each other. I can learn so much from them. And I get to be apart of this. I've gotten to watch these people in community with one another for the past month and this experience has been more than I deserve. This group of people has shown me what it means to "welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you..."

"With one voice glorify God..." Last night, we had a 2 hour rehearsal for Wednesday night service and I was so filled with joy and awe of God that I could cry. Be it a rehearsal, a church service, prayer, or just pondering and discussing things of God, I'm learning what it is to live in unity, and with one voice to glorify God. I'm overcome sometimes by the beauty of this second family I have now, and feel so blessed beyond belief. I still have a lot of people to meet. We all still have so much to learn about what it means to love well and live in harmony with one another. But it's a beautiful thing to live amongst these people I now call friends.