Thursday, March 31, 2011


I have felt amazing all day. I don't know why. Sometimes I think the Lord gives me a break from my hypoglycemia stuff, where I can just think on where He's brought me, what He's teaching me, what joy is in the midst of pain or trial. I know that tomorrow my body will probably go back to the usual, but I'm rejoicing in this day, in the redeeming work He is doing in my heart and my life, in the strength and grace that He gives me every day.

This is a new favorite song of to ponder the words for hope on a bad day or thanksgiving on a day like today!

"Rejoice, rejoice, my weary soul, my hope is in the Lord alone.
He will never leave you or forsake you, so rejoice.

Rejoice, in the Lord, your mourning into dancing, rejoice.
Rejoice, in the Lord, your mourning into dancing, rejoice."

"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
12that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!"
Psalm 30:10-11

20 Things

We had to make a "bucket list" of 20 things we want to do before we die for our health class. I sat down at my computer thinking, "Oh this is going to be so easy. That's not many things at all." But as I got going, I realized that it's a harder task than I thought.

The Lord has given us one life. ONE. Our time on this Earth is precious. I want to make every minute count, yet I waste so much time. So much opportunity. The harvest is ripe, it is ready....and yet much of it is in the field rotting. At the same time, there is much that is being done for the kingdom, and it is beautiful. The Lord is growing hearts, churches are reaching out to the lost, missionaries are sharing the Gospel, families are adopting the orphan. Beautiful things are happening everyday.

So this list is not in any particular order, and some are obviously more important than others. I'm excited to see what God has for me...and which ones I'll get to cross off! :)

Health 195


20 Things to Do Before I Die

  1. Get Married
  2. Have a baby
  3. Adopt kids
  4. Run an orphanage
  5. Go to Uganda
  6. Evangelize and bring someone to Christ in Spanish
  7. Run a half-marathon
  8. Be a missionary over-seas (hopefully/maybe in Guatemala)
  9. Read through the Bible in Spanish
  10. Write a book or 2…
  11. Speak at a women’s conference
  12. Teach about orphans and adoption
  13. Learn to cook
  14. Go on a hiking adventure of some sort
  15. Start a non-profit organization for adoptive families
  16. Get my counseling license
  17. Learn how to take quality pictures
  18. Own and decorate my own house
  19. Learn to lead worship on piano
  20. Teach a health/parenting/lamaze class in Spanish

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I am all about representing adoption. There's all those moms who say they wear yoga pants and adoption shirts everyday but date night and church. Let me tell you a little secret....I'd LOVE to be that mom someday :)

Anyways, let's just say I'm building up my wardrobe early :)

147 Million Orphans is launching their new spring gear!! Just in time for Easter baskets....

Click above to check it out! These are awesome families who LOVE the orphan and we can help. All of their profits go to food, water, and medicine for orphans and children in poverty.

A glance...

Men, this is finally your chance to understand women a little bit better. I've had some very humorous conversations about how frustrated guys get with girls. And you're right, we really don't understand ourselves. But maybe this will give you a glimpse into part of it.

Ladies, I really wrote this poem is for you. I started writing this from the perspective of all of us. I've had many talks with friends the past few weeks about beauty, weight, and culture in regards to us as women. We all have different struggles but it all boils down to the same point- Some days, we just don't feel beautiful and we struggle to keep in focus the beauty that the Lord sees in us. But as I wrote, I felt prideful, knowing that I'd much rather use "us" and "we" to describe emotions than "I" and "me." I don't like owning up to the fact that I struggle with the battle of outer beauty vs inner beauty. I don't like admitting that I have trouble seeing the truth, that I let a number on the scale or a disappointing glance in the mirror define my confidence, my attitude, my thought life. So I wrote the rest of it from my perspective. My heart is laid open, and I hope that you can see that you are not alone and you are not without hope. Never without hope and never without our Father gazing down with a beaming smile on His face, declaring us His gorgeous, beautiful, perfect daughters.

A Glance

In every woman's heart you'll find a similar tale,
A glance in the mirror or a step on a scale
Can scream lies of unworthiness, or stories of hope
To which voice do we listen, how should we know?

Though we try to forsake the ways of this world,
To focus on Christ and His glory behold
We still long to be beautiful, long to be known
Yet the depriving and striving leaves us feeling alone

When will I embrace my beauty in Christ?
When will I believe the Love of my life?
When He says, "I delight in you," "I will never leave"
When He says, "My Beloved," will I truly believe?

One more look in the mirror, a decision to be made
I can choose to be happy or be discouraged, dismayed
For the girl that I see could be more skinny or pretty
But to Christ- I am perfect, displaying His glory

Created in His image, he is singing over me
I can be content, secure, happy, free!
God created every woman, to be a helper, mother, friend
He calls us beautiful, from now until the end.

I took some time today and prayed that the Lord would confirm in me a desire for His affirmation, a knowledge of His love for me, the beauty that He sees in me. I prayed that He would rip me of my efforts to improve myself, the efforts I put into making myself more beautiful on the outside are really a waste of time compared to the change He could bring to my inside, my heart. So take a moment and rest before the Love of our lives, the Lover of our souls. Take down the wall that's build up inside, take down the rules you make for yourself, take down the expectations you have for the mirror, the scale, the treadmill. The Lord wants us to live freely. I have never been so burdened for women to live in the freedom He gives, for myself to live in freedom. Enough rambling.

"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
John 8:32
We are LOVED, we are CALLED, we are ADOPTED, we are DAUGHTERS, we are BEAUTIFUL.
This is TRUTH.

Monday, March 28, 2011


My parents came to visit me this weekend. It was such a sweet time of fellowship as they met all of the friends I have made here.

Our campus ministry had a coffeehouse/talent show for all the parents on Saturday night and as I sat between my dad and Spencer I felt a sense of peace, a sense of security, a sense of home. My heart is here with this community, my parents and my boyfriend were sitting by me with dear friends close by. As I took a moment to praise God for these blessings, I realized just how scary it is to find a safe place, to be in a place of security. Its scary to think that in a moment, all of those things I cling to could fall away. But this is where the firm foundation of Christ comes in. If I build my life, my heart, and my faith on Him alone, then when the precious things of this Earth fail or disappoint me, I will still have Jesus on which to stand, praising Him for the gifts which give me security, joy, and peace in this earthly home.

"He laid the Earth on its foundations, it can never be moved."
Psalm 104:5


I don't think they get much cuter than this. I want to reach through the computer screen and kiss those darling pudgy cheeks. Or flying there would be a great option too :)

Friday, March 25, 2011


"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10

There are lies whispered everywhere. From culture, media, peers, professors, the Enemy. What are we going to do to combat them? This is not just a part of life, it is a battle. A daily battle of finding who we are in Christ. We have to choose every day whether or not we will allow the Enemy to feed those lies. Or if we will believe TRUTH.

Not believing the truth has huge implications. It puts you in bondage. John 8:36 says, "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." We are to live in freedom. The truth gives us freedom. The truth gives us an identity-we are God's handiwork. I LOVE this! He fashioned us. I picture an artist with her brush, thoughtfully adding minute details to the canvas. Or a potter forming the clay, carefully molding and shaping to perfection. The artist will not stop until the creation is just as he had envisioned. This is God with us! He made us in just the way that we ought to be. We do not need people to tell us if we are good enough. We are His handwork.

The truth gives us purpose- created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. We were created to do His work, which He already has planned for us. And because we were created by Him, we are already equipped with everything we need to carry out His calling. So despite what our GPA is, a "career aptitude test," the comments of a professor, or the skepticism and doubt from the Enemy gripping your heart, we ARE prepared, called, and created to do HIS work. No matter how hard, how discouraging, how crazy it may look.

I have been fighting a battle the past month unlike anything I have ever experienced. It is so full of passion, burden, and calling from the Lord. Yet at the same time, lies and doubts flood my heart. I never thought so much spiritual growth, testing, and challenge could come from one Spanish class.

Every day, I question myself why am I doing this when I don't have it takes. I ask myself what was I thinking when I signed up for this, when I decided to make Spanish my life for now. I feel like a failure, like I've wasted all these hours of studying and class time only to face the fact that I just wasn't cut out for this after all. These are the lies. And while they so easily captivate my attention, my gaze is so gently turned to the beauty of truth that happens when I tell people about my hopes for the future with Hispanic people. When my heart absolutely swells with love for the girl I hardly know, yet shares her heart and life with me for 2 hours of the week while I stumble through algebra lessons in Spanish with her.

I had a very humbling experience in class today that was humiliating and really just incredibly discouraging. I left the front of the room from my presentation feeling the silent message of "FAILURE" radiate from the professor. I sat back down at my desk and couldn't believe that I was about to start crying in a college classroom. You only do that in high school, right? But as I held back the tears I immediately started to pray that God would show me truth. To not let this experience bring me to failure but only a reminder of the identity that I have in HIM. I asked myself why I was crying. Was it because I was embarrassed by the critiques I had received? While my pride and confidence was definitely bruised, it was more a disappointment in myself and a stifling fear that I would not be able to accomplish this mission that I have. To me, this class is not 3 credits to add to the diploma. This class is one step towards what I feel God is calling me to. And the thought of giving up now brought a wave of sorrow that gripped my heart. So I chose to fight this battle. I pulled myself together, left class, went to my room, (cried a little more, but that's what girls do), and started searching Scripture, searching for any tokens of TRUTH to add to my weaponry as I choose victory.

I CHOOSE to believe that I am God's handiwork. He has created me to finish this class, to go to Spain, to be a Godly leader here on campus, to encourage and love others well, to handle my health issues with grace and gratitude. These tasks are not easy but He has created me with everything I need to accomplish the life He has for me.

I CHOOSE to believe that I was created to do good works, which He has prepared for me already! For some reason, He's brought me to this place, this school, to learn Spanish. Past that I'm not really sure, but it's so obvious that this is the work He has prepared for me in this time and place.

So I clothe myself in prayer, in Scripture, in the strength of the Lord, who goes before us in battle.

Will you take up your sword with me? Can we join together, praying for one another that Christ may be glorified through our lives?

My heart so desires this, brothers and sisters. We are His handiwork, let's win this battle together.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Voy a España!

In May, I'm headed to Salamanca, Spain to study abroad for 2 months. My daddy will be coming to stay with me for several days and I think I'm most excited about that. It will be so much fun to share Spain with him!While the prep work for this class has just about worn me down to the bone and made me question my sanity for ever considering speaking Spanish, deep down I am very excited :)

I keep reminding myself that in 2 months I will be looking at these:

Years ago, men used the brains that God gave them to imagine incredible buildings and works of art. They used their muscles and hands to construct these ideas that the Lord gave them. And now we get to admire the creativity, beauty, and splendor! I'm sure it will be even more incredible when it's in person!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Big Picture

Have you ever stepped out from a cold building into the radiant, hot sun and felt it warm your body to the bone? That is how I felt today as the Lord's goodness washed over me in waves.

I have been so discouraged and frustrated recently with Spanish, and in my pursuit of purpose, was tempted multiple times to give up on the whole thing. I had signed up several weeks ago to go to a nearby town and translate for their parent-teacher conferences at the elementary school. The town is extremely small, and most of the employment comes from the large factory. The school population has gone from 2% Hispanic to almost 44% in the past 10 years. They have new students coming in monthly who neither read or write, and who speak no English.

I was both excited and scared at the prospect of this opportunity to go and translate. My prayer the past few days was that the Lord would make it an encouraging, motivating experience and that I would be reminded of why I chose Spanish in the first place. As I drove there I just had this feeling of anticipation in my heart. I could sense the Spirit was with me and I was excited to see what He would do.

When I got there I found out that I was the only student coming until later on that afternoon. So....I was the only translator there! At first I was regretting coming early but later on when the rest of my group got there most of them weren't able to translate at all because the conferences were over and there were too many of them. The Lord had saved the afternoon for me to be refreshed and encouraged.

I spent the afternoon explaining report cards, projects, and progress to Hispanic parents. There were many who probably got more out of their limited knowledge of English than they ever would my broken Spanish. But there were some who stared at the teachers with blank stares until I translated what was being said. Their beaming faces when being told that their child was excelling, reading, and speaking in English was priceless. The Lord was using me as a bridge to bring news of hope to them.

I got to speak with many teachers and ESL workers as well about bilingual education and the situation in this particular town. It was fascinating, challenging, and saddening as well. Definitely gave me some other options for potential jobs someday.

One particular family was so friendly. The dad spoke absolutely no English. His 2 kids did all the translating for him, but he was so delighted to discover that I could speak to him. He told me over and over again how I would know spanish "muy pronto" (very soon). He was not phased at all by my atrocious grammar or vocabulary but just desired to talk and tell me his story. This is my one of my favorite parts about knowing Spanish. Over the years the Lord has used it so many times to connect with people. I love how using words I can get to know someone, hear their story, look into their heart. It was beautiful and such an encouragement.

I don't know why....but I really just love these people. I melt at any baby or child, but seriously I don't think there's anything more precious than a little brown-skinned baby with the soft black hair...or the sweet toddlers whose hair sticks straight up (all the boys in Guatemala have the cutest sticky-uppy hair) :) A little boy came toddling into the ESL room while I was waiting for a conference and I could barely resist picking him and kissing his sweet face. He smiled SO big and waved at me and trotted right into the room. Mr. Curious.

I wrote a short poem while I was waiting for conferences to start. I sat in a room by myself and and while I was nervous to see what the afternoon would hold I was just overwhelmed by God and His faithfulness that He took me to Guatemala, brought me here and given me the opportunity to talk with these precious people yet having this excitement that this is SO NOT ABOUT ME. I just got so excited to see His kingdom come through the lives of His children. His goodness and power working through my minimal Spanish, through aspiring musicians, through nurses in training, through future businessmen. He so graciously gave me this eternal perspective that I was just blown away. Those lies of purposelessness have been battled by TRUTH.

The Big Picture

You're doing something far beyond I can see
This work and this story going far beyond me

You're turning a little girls love into something great
A tiny golden flame to a burning blaze

I don't know exactly what you want me to do
I'm not really sure when, where, or who

But your hand is so strong on me I can feel
Your presence a power, your peace is a shield.

I'm excited right now to see all that you'll do,
It's a comfort to know all I need is to trust in You.


So, I have no more of an idea of what I'll actually end up doing with my Spanish, if anything. But the Lord's goodness has washed over me, refreshing my heart that was tired and discouraged. Praise His name!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Got Vitamin C?

Today I sat down at the table with 3 oranges.
After several shocked looks of how much fruit I was planning to consume in one sitting, I realized that I have consumed over 200 oranges this semester.
The guy next to me at the lunch table hadn't even consumed 3 this year.
Needless to say, perhaps it's time I found another fruit! :)

Finding Purpose

God just does the coolest things. I'm so encouraged.

Anyways, finding purpose has been on my mind a lot recently. I've had many discussions with my girlfriends about do we as young women find purpose in what we're doing here and now. Americans are all about efficiency and productivity. We don't do anything if it won't make life easier, more successful, give us something, etc. We have spreadsheets and entire departments of companies that work on finding the very best way to accomplish something. They have a goal in mind and they find the best, fastest, and cheapest way to get it done.

The Lord has shown me this week that this attitude/perspective is not of Him. This efficient, productive way of life is of the world. It is an attitude of personal gain that can turn into a selfish climb up the ladder. Now am I saying that we should stop trying to get a promotion, stop budgeting our money, take our time with things, and stop doing anything that doesn't have a specific purpose? NO. But I am saying that in my own life I have allowed this worldly mindset to affect the way I look at the place God has put me. I harbor doubt and discontent in my heart.

What does trigonometry have to do with being a wife and momma to the orphan?
When will I ever need to know the International Phonetic Alphabet in order to minister to the church?
I am ashamed to admit that I even asked those questions and let the joy slip away from my heart as I wallowed in discouragement and overwhelmedness (my new word). :)

I was delighted to find so much Scripture about finding purpose:

"The Lord will fulfill His purpose in me; your love, O Lord, endures forever- do not abandon the works of your hands." Psalm 138:8

"And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

To say that all of these classes have no purpose right now is not for me to say. That is the way of the world saying, "You're not accomplishing anything right now so look for a better way."

There is NO BETTER WAY than the way of the Lord!! And oh the joy and peace that filled my heart as I realized this again. If there is no other reason besides me learning to trust the Lord, then so be it. It will not be wasted.

The Lord had a purpose for His son when He sent Him to die for the sins of man. Did sending His son as a baby in a manger, born to a carpenter make a whole lot of sense? Nope. Wouldn't there have been an easier way? Probably. But God's way and purpose is good.
"According to His eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Ephesians 3:11

"But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life- not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace." 2 Timothy 1:8-9

That i might fully understand the beauty of His grace, the vastness of His plan, the intricacy of His purposes for every person would transform my life.

So today, I choose to embrace this day, this class, this homework, this GPA. I choose to take it with gratitude, knowing that His purpose is good.

Whatever our God ordains is right. Amen.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Heavy heart

Some friends of mine from home were in Guatemala last week loving on orphans and homeless children.

All last week, I knew that they were down there but I was without internet or cell phone service. So I prayed for them, and prayed a lot about what an orphan ministry would look like here at college.

I got back to school and read all of their blog posts. They went to visit Eagle's Nest and took pictures of Claudia for me. They also went to a government orphanage. I encourage you to read their brief post here before continuing.

I sobbed my way through that post. Even now I don't even know how to express all that is in my heart.

I paused, trying to process 1000 orphans. And then I tried contemplating 1 million orphans. Then 147 million. Our brains were never meant to envision millions of babies, children, and teens who are without homes. But this is the truth.

I never intend to guilt anyone who reads these posts into feeling pity for the orphan. My goal in writing these things is that the Lord may burden your heart for the Fatherless, that we may join together and serve.

And then there's a whole section of the orphanage with teen moms whose babes are there with them. I feel nothing but compassion and love for any mother who gives up her baby. But oh how my heart aches for a 12 year old who lives in an orphanage with her tiny baby, outcasts from their home.

As I looked at the pictures of those kids I tried to imagine what would have happened if Claudia had been transferred there like they told us she would. The Lord protected her and she is still at Eagle's Nest. That spark of life that is in her would be so quickly burnt out if she was moved somewhere like that. The Lord protected her and she is still at Eagle's Nest- PRAISE JESUS!

Our pastor preached a powerful sermon several weeks ago on suffering. He said that we are to approach all suffering in this fallen world as an opportunity for ministry. While I wish that we could just do away with suffering all together, there is so much room for service in the lives of hurting people.

Suffering, orphans, missions, Guatemala has all been heavy on my heart this week. I don't have answers, I don't have solutions. But the Lord has drawn me to my knees through it, and this is a beautiful thing.
Thank you, Guatemala girls, for going and loving on those precious ones.


I just got back from a week-long spring break trip with my campus ministry. The theme of the week was pride. It was challenging, convicting, stretching, and encouraging all at the same time.

The Lord convicted me of pride in alot of areas in my life. But one aspect in particular has stuck with me all week, and I can really feel that this is where the Lord wants me to rest at for awhile.

I broke down one night last week as the Lord showed me that I live in fear. This fear is a lack of trust in God. And this lack of trust in God is rooted in pride, because I refuse to rest in His sovereignty. I continue to believe that MY idea of life is better than His will for me.

I live in fear of abandonment....that I will do something to make the people in my life leave.
I live in fear of the future....that my comfort and security will be snatched away.
I live in fear that my health problems will never go away.....

These are all lies. Pure lies from the Enemy, and the Lord showed that to me so clearly last week. The Lord has us in the palms of His hand. Might bad things happen? Yes. Will He forsake us? No. All suffering leads to HIS glory. So who are we to fear when our sovereign God reigns?

I haven't been "miraculously cured" of fear, and in this fallen world I never will be. But it is how I react to this fear that will make all the difference.

I opened my Bible this morning to see what the Scripture had to say about fear and I wrote down the sweet words of truth.

" The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1

"Do not be afraid, for I am with you..." Isaiah 43:5a

"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity [fear], but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7

"I sought the Lord, and He answered me; he delivered me from all my fears." Psalm 34:4

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you where you go." Joshua 1:9

It is not God's will for us to live in fear. However, it IS His will for us to live in freedom and truth. So as I go about my day, I am striving to preach these words of truth to myself, using HIS strength to cast out fear. Will you join me?


The sun is streaming in my window, the breeze is blowing, and my heart is at rest. It's time to catch up on my blog. I have LOTS going on in my head and I'm not sure if I'll be able to get it all out but I'm going to do my best. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the next few posts :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

He's Back :)

Remember this rose??
It was given to me on September 5th, 2009.

We took a break from dating a little bit after that. But after a year of just being friends and God stretching and growing us while we were apart at different schools....Spencer's back and I'm so happy :) We're at the same school, sharing the same friends, serving together, learning together. Our friends think it's just great to tease us about dating. So much so, in fact, that they made a nickname for us lol.
So let me introduce you to Spolly or Smolly (depending on who you ask).

God has laid His hand on my life so clearly the past year. His fingerprints are over every piece, every crazy twist in the road, and every moment that the trek out of the valley and up the mountain felt so scary.

The Lord holds true to His promises. We can TRUST Him. Praise His name!

"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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13