Friday, December 24, 2010


Hello to anyone still reading my blog! I can't access my blog at college so I haven't really been able to update (not that I had much time to do so anyway). My first semester of college is now finished, and I'm quite happy with my grades from finals week. I came home for Christmas break just over a week ago and am here until January 9th. It has been really nice to just relax, catch up on sleep, be with my family and friends from church, and be involved in various other activities.

I want to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas! All my friends and family have made this year a special one. May we all remember Christ during this holiday season.. remember all that He has done and praise Him for the many blessings He has so graciously given us.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

First Half - Over

(This is from Thursday, October 28, 2010. I haven't had access to my blog at college.)

So I'm sure many of you have been wondering how my first half of the semester is going here at college. Some words come to mind as I write this. Overwhelming; hard; pressured... Enjoyable; beneficial; encouraging... As some of you know (and for those of you who don't know), my first week here was tough. Almost to the point of leaving and giving up this opportunity. Yet God had a different plan in mind and orchestrated circumstances so that His will for my life would be accomplished.

Even through the difficult and seemingly impossible changes, college is one of the best things that has happened to me. As I look over the first half of my semester, I can see how God has worked. I have met some people who will be close lasting friendships, others who are always there for me when I need a kind word or note, and then there are those who will offer to do homework with me or simply act crazy to make me laugh after a long day. God has also been showing Himself in my various classes, Mr. Trainer's classes especially. How many times I have read through passages of Scripture without really understanding the true meaning of each individual verse! Even the genealogies like Matthew 1:1-17. I don't think I've read that part of Matthew until I came here. Then we went over it in class and pulled out several applications which can be applied to every Christian's life today - just from genealogies.

My roommates are truly a blessing from the Lord. Carissa is a senior, and she is the one I have talked to the most out of my 3 roommates. I am usually here in my dorm room a lot during the afternoon/evening. When Carissa is here we are sometimes able to have interesting conversations, all of which are lead back to the Lord. We don't even have to be talking to each other for me to gain godly advise from her. Many times it is through her phone conversations where I am learning more about her, and even more about our God. She does, however, have a way of making me laugh by some of the things she says. Amber is a sophmore. I often don't see her until the evenings since she works quite a bit, but when I do get to talk to her I always walk away laughing about something or other =) She has a great sense of humor but also a humble spirit toward things of God. Bethany is a freshman. I knew her for a few years before coming to college and requested her as a roommate. I've gotten to know her better and have seen a lot of what she has written me in letters come out in what she does in the dorm. When she and another girl on our floor practice aural skills in the lobby, well, let's just say it can be quite hilarious to listen to. She can also understand much of what I am going through during the semester as she is also a freshman.

There are multiple other things I could talk about, but the last thing I want to leave you with is what I have learned about struggles. Right before college I had very difficult news told to me, and that area in my life has stuck with me even now. Of course, during college I have had trouble with my new class/work schedules... new everything basically, and I felt like I was all alone, having to wade through these personal battles by myself. That is when God reminded me that He has and will continue to be with me as I move forward in this next step of my life. Every day I wear a necklace my mom gave me for a gift. It has two footprints hanging from a chain, simply reminding me that God is walking alongside me every day and will never leave me. Things will still be hard, but God won't give me any more than I can bear. And it is when my burden becomes too heavy He will lighten the load and carry me through.

Thank you for your continual prayers, notes, emails, phone calls and, for those here on campus, your smiling faces, silly texts, and uplifting hugs. Each small thing you do is so much bigger to me and I thank you so much for it all!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Slowly but surely

It's been way too long since I've written here. So much has been going on in my life, and I haven't had the proper time to just sit down and sort through everything.

Now, I do.

Our church had it's "Alpha/Omega Wars" on the fourth week of July. We had two students, Elsa and Juan from UCLA in Mexico, here for three weeks helping in various ways, including the Teen Week. They were a tremendous help!! It's much more difficult to get teens to come out for stuff like this than it is younger kids, but those who did come were there all week.

Each night, some of the older teens from our church (me included) and the adults came to help with the setup and preparations for the evening's events. All week I was filling hundreds of water balloons, with the help of some of the others. o_O If I ever see another water balloon again, it will be too soon.... The biggest event of the week was the obstacle course. The teens really enjoyed wiggling their way under the orange netting, sliding down the new-and-improved slip'n'slide (which consisted of soap, water, and a large blue tarp), walking across a log, getting through a mess of ropes tied between two trees, going over a teeter-totter made of a board, and maneuvering their way along the "army ropes" - all while being tied together by the wrists and ankles in groups of three!

After the fun and games snacks were served, thanks to many of the ladies in our church. The teens also got quite a few chances to guess at how much money was in the coin jars, three jars throughout the week. Some of their guesses were within pennies of the actual amount! I remember doing that a long time ago, and I never got that close =)
At the end of every night we gathered in the auditorium and Pastor gave a challenge to the teens. The entire week was great, and I believe the Lord used what was done for His glory.

On another note, I have been preparing for college most of the summer. I had my graduation/going away get together at church a few weeks ago, gone shopping with some friends, and just yesterday finished with the majority of my packing. Tonight will be my last time at church for a while. I know the college is only two hours away from home, which is much closer than many others will be, but I'll still miss everyone here. I've attended MBC ever since I can remember. There have been more families than I can count who have been a blessing in my life in more ways than one. God had truly shown Himself here, and I hope to take the lessons I've learned here with me as I leave this Friday. I want others to see Christ in all I do and say. Please pray for me this week as I travel and especially as I start classes next Tuesday.

Monday, August 2, 2010

As of today it's been one full year since I've been in Mexico... can't I go back?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Teach me

"Teach me to number my days,
And count every moment,
Before it slips away...

It happens in a blink, it happens in a flash -
It happens in the time it took to look back -
I try to hold on tight but there's no stopping time,
What is it I've done with my life? ...

Slow down, before today becomes our yesterday...
Before you turn around and it's too late...

It happens in a blink."

I had planned on writing out my thoughts from this month, but the more I think about it the more I think I'd rather wait until things calm down in my life. Quite a bit has happened and I need to sort out my thoughts, as well as spend time in prayer, before sharing. Right now I would just ask for your prayers. I pray for each one of you daily!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I am sitting here thinking about how I will be done with school tomorrow, and it's still not sinking in. I will be completely finished- forever. A good feeling, but strange all the same. Today I got through two of my three remaining classes. Tomorrow I just finish with History and take a few tests, then it will all be over!
There are going to be so many new things coming up in my life. Whether it be through the new school year at college, this summer, or even the next couple of weeks. I am completely looking forward to everything, no matter how easy or difficult it may be. May I glorify God through my decisions and actions.

Sometime towards the beginning of August I plan on having a "graduation/going away" get together at my church after the evening service. I will post a Facebook invite when I get more details, and I trust all of my friends will be able to come, even if only for a few minutes. Nothing big. I would just like to see as many of you as I can before I leave... you know I'll have my camera out too ;)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Second guess

Why must I always second guess myself when it comes to replying to a comment that is in Spanish? Most of the time I know all the words and can translate in my mind to English, yet I still go to my dictionary or online translation site to make sure.

Sigh. Maybe after being in a Spanish class again I will be more confident.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A close... right?

Seems like it was yesterday I started my senior year of high school; now it will be over in a week or so. Am I happy? Absolutely! But that's not all I'm feeling. My life is going to be very different in a matter of months, and I'm just not sure I am ready.

College will be a huge change. I know it is for most students, but I look at it differently than some of my friends who have, or will be, graduating. I've been homeschooled from 3rd grade up. Even now I still wish I could have changed that, at least for the last year or two of high school. There are many things I miss... being with friends every day; being able to ask a question when something didn't make sense in class; gym time; attending student meetings. There are also things that I'm not going to be able to do that I had always looked forward to, mainly: a real graduation ceremony. I'll be finishing school soon, and once I complete that very last class it's just over.

That's it. Done.
Somehow it's like an unfinished book. You read and read for hours, you finally get to the last chapter which wraps everything up, then you close the book, disregarding the final chapter. I've gone through 12 years of schooling, I come to a close, and... what? That's all there is. I will now just move on to the next 'chapter' of my life.

So there's no graduation ceremony, and yet I'm still satisfied. Here's why... God's brought me closer to Him! He has been with me every step of the way, never letting me go. Sure, I've taken plenty of falls, but He had helped me back up. I don't believe I would have seen as much spiritual growth as I have, had I attended a Christian high school. I'm not saying there would have been no growth. I'll never know what might have happened. All I know is what did happen.

Just thinking about everything that's lead up to who I am now is completely overwhelming to me, even as I type this out. My God is such a gracious, merciful, magnificent, patient, caring, and loving Father. I can't begin to write all that He's shown me, especially in these last 2 years. Everywhere I look, each memory that comes to mind- it all comes back to Him. I'd like to leave you with a few thoughts, some areas in which God's hand had control.

The fact that I was able to get through all 12 years of school amazes me. I went to a Christian school in 1st and 2nd grade, then my mom decided to try homeschooling my sister and I. It was such a long time ago I can't remember what I thought of the idea at the time, or even what my first few years of homeschooling were like. One memory I do have was saying goodbye to some good friends. CCS was where I made my first best friend Liz. Knowing that I probably would never see her or anyone else again was quite saddening to a little girl like me. I was (and still am) shy, so making friends could be hard sometimes. The friends I was able to make became close, and I was leaving all of it. Over the next few years the Lord brought new friends into my life, some of who I still keep in contact with.

Stepping into high school brought on new challenges, yet many I tried to overcome on my own. At the time I don't think I was very close to the Lord. I was always in church, always playing the piano each week. I brought my Bible on Sundays and Wednesday nights. I loved God. But He wasn't a major part of my life, only when "big things" came up.

It was when I went on our yg's mission trip to Mexico last summer where my heart changed. I don't want to repeat what I said previously on my trip, although I could go on and on =) I would encourage you to read for yourself in an earlier blog post. The point I want to emphasize most right now is this. God showed Himself through the people in Mexico. Serving Him was most important to those people, many of who I am blessed to call my friends (and there are ever-so-many stories to tell there!). After being with them for 10 days, I realized I wanted what they had in my own life more than anything I'd ever wanted. So I chose to reach out to God, and was blessed beyond measure. It's impossible to express all He's done in one year, or what He's shown me He is able to do in others. If you're around me for any length of time you'll undoubtedly hear about God's faithfulness in my life. I love sharing what He's done!

All this to say, I want the Lord to continually be first in everything I do. Trusting Him isn't always easy, but in the end it's definitely worth it. It brings an unexplainable joy and peace to my heart. Going to college isn't going to change that. There will be new challenges, new friends, new experiences. The Lord is the One I will go to and lean on to get me through the next four years, which will prepare me for the rest of my life. My prayer is that others will see Him through me. I want to spend my life serving Him.

Please pray for me as I finish my last week of school, for my preparations for college this summer (physically and mentally), and my first semester at Maranatha College.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Psalm 139

I read this in my devotions this morning and would like to share these verses -

"O Lord, though hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and are acquanted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I assend up into heaven, thou art there... If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee... Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Emotions ~

So simple, yet so complicated...

all together, then it all falls apart...

sometimes shared, other times kept inside...

understandable, then unexplainable...

laughter and joy; tears and pain....

Yet God is carrying me through it all. So I'm trusting Him, knowing that He has a perfect plan for my life.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Nland vs. Maranatha

Our youth group had a great time on the college trip last week! We had 1 guy and 5 girls, including myself, along with my yp's family and a lady from the church.

We met at the church on Thursday to pack up the truck and car, then left around 3pm for the long drive to Northland. Had fun on the way there while taking pictures and listening to music. Arriving at the college at 8:30, we went to our dorm rooms and unpacked. The girls I was with were really fun =)

Friday morning everyone met for breakfast, then we went to visit classes pretty much all day. After browsing around in the bookstore, there was a campus tour in the late afternoon, and I was finally able to look around Northland for the first time. What a friendly Christian atmosphere! Not just the teachers and staff, but all of the students as well. Our group spent the rest of the night watching Noe's soccer game and having fun in the rec room with some other friends. It was so great to see Chelsea and Hannah again!

Saturday we traveled to Maranatha, a college I would highly recommend of course.. hehe! After unpacking in our dorms again we met for dinner with Aubrey and Tiffany, then the girls headed over to the studio on campus where Tiffany took my senior pictures and other fun ones. She did an amazing job and I'll give a link pretty soon where you can look through them. The rest of the night was spent playing games and watching "Facing the Giants" at Joe and Becca's place in the guesthouse. Sunday was also just a day of rest for the group; went to church and had a good time in the dorms. The teens from the church we went to had a little activity afterwards which we were able to be a part of.

I was able to get a much clearer perspective of what college life is like for the students as I went from class to class Monday. Not all the classes were my favorite, but just getting the feel for how each one was taught was helpful. The last one I went to was Spanish - amazing! I completely enjoyed it! The professor is from Spain I believe, and the entire lecture was in Spanish. I was able to understand the majority of it, and I'm looking forward to possibly taking that class this fall.

All in all, the trip was a wonderful opportunity for some of the others who had not been to many colleges; it was also extreamly benificial to me personally as I prepare for the real thing... and it's coming up quickly! I'm excited to finally be able to study more of what I'd like to do with my life. God's going to provide everything I'll need and will be with me each step of the way. I just want all I do to be pleasing to the Lord.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Jumbled into one

This is just going to be one big jumble of updates. First, when you get a minutes click on the link below. I'd like to share my year with each of you who made it so special!

From March 11th-15th, our youth group is going on a college trip to Northland International University and Maranatha Baptist Bible College. I may have some internet access while at Northland, but not much. So I'll get back to anyone who's emailed me as soon as I get back! And of course I'll post any picture I take while on the trip =)

I'd also like to share a few quick thoughts on a challenge I heard last night in youth group. One that God really used to speak to me personally. A deacon in our church told about many examples of young people who seem like really great Christians on the outside, but inside are just waiting for the day when their parents can't make them go to church anymore: waiting for a chance to rebel against God. There are so many young people who don't want to have anything to do with God. When they turn 18 or 19 they throw away everything that should be important to them for the things of this world. Then they raise a family who doesn't love the Lord. A lot of stuff is going to be hard for those who trust Him. It's not going to be a life of ease. But He greatly blesses and rewards those who keep following Him, those who willingly give their lives to serve Him.

God spoke to my heart through this challenge. There's not a minute where I don't want to please the Lord in all aspects of my life. I'm not saying I'm perfect, but from different experiences God has put me through, He's shown me that I am most satisfied in the center of His will. How could I not want to give all I have for the One Who gave me life? I guess that's why I feel such a strong desire to be a missionary. I want to share His love with those who don't know, and even to those who do know but are hardened towards God. I don't want people to see me and what I can do, but through my actions and words see Christ and what HE can do for them. True joy is found in Christ!

Friday, February 5, 2010

ACT: A Constant Thought

Alright... so I know this is not what ACT stands for when we're discussing the standardized test you take to get into a college. But think about it. You don't want to go in to take the test without having studied at least a little. More importantly, you don't want to go in thinking you can do it all by yourself. So a constant thought I have is to always remember that God is with me every step of the way. He already knows what the line is going to look like, which questions I will struggle over, and what my grade will be... thanks for those words Mrs. Miller. =) Why worry when my Heavenly Father knows all?

I would appreciate your prayers as I go in to take this test Saturday morning around 8. I'm not necessarily looking for an extreamly high score (although I wouldn't be complaining if that were the case); rather, a decent score that will reflect the amount of time I put forth studying. May the Lord be glorified in all I do tomorrow!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Man or God?

Acts 5:38-39 "... if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God."

I've probably read over this verse hundreds of times, but I've never thought of what it meant until we discussed it in youth group on Wednesday night. Have you ever tried to make something happen on your own? For those of you in school/college, maybe it's taking a test or trying to get together with friends. Adults, it could possibly be job or family related. Whatever the situation might be, you know that your plans don't always work out the way you would like them to. Even if things are going exactly the way you want, there's always a strong possibility that someone may come along and ruin your perfect plan.

Now think of when you've done something but have asked the Lord for His strength and guidance first. Many times we ask God for things that aren't right (like wishing for that one person to walk into a tree...). Seriously, a lot of what we take to the Lord are not things of God. Sometimes it may not be clear whether or not it's the right thing to ask for, but most times we know if it's wrong. Just think though. If something is meant to be, if it is God's will, there's absolutely nothing man can do to change it. Nothing! "But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it." The things of man can be altered; the things of God cannot! Once again, what a wonderful truth - to be able to go to our Heavenly Father and know that we can leave all in His hands. To trust that our Savior knows best and wants the best for His children. To be comforted by the fact that He won't "mess up" - that He is perfect and has His own perfect plan.

Knowing all this, how could you want to be anywhere else than in the center of His will? It thrills me, as I hope it does you, that I can have such a personal relationship with the One Who created everything. He cares for me. He cares for you. I've chosen to follow God. Which way will you choose?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Simple verses are packed with meaning

Psalms 103:8-11

"The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him."

From a previous study on another verse, I found that the word fear doesn't mean to be scared of the Lord, but rather to completely submit to Him. Read the bold words now: "... so great is His mercy toward them that completely submit to Him." Knowing what this verse, as well as others with the word fear in them, really means has helped me to better understand how to have a closer relationship with God.

Just a thought... .

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bigger than ever

Happy new year to each of you! I trust it's been a good one for you so far, as it most certainly has been with mine. But before I get into all the things I'd like to for 2010, let me back up and fill you in on December 2009.

The first word that comes into my mind when I think of last month is crazy. I was literally stretched in every which way and, to be honest, I liked it. True, there were some activities I could have done without, but the Lord guided all aspects of my life. I took each decision I needed to make to Him first. You will have no idea what a load off your back it is when you do that unless you make it a habit. The Lord works in ways you can't even imagine when He's involved in your daily routine ... and sometimes not so "routine". One of the biggest ways God blessed me in was allowing a friendship with someone I met in Mexico last summer to be more than that. We are always praying about everything that's said or done and taking things slowly. At times it can be a bit fuzzy with what to do, but whenever that happens I again take it to my Heavenly Father and He shows me the way. There were other fun Christmas activities I was able to be involved in. You can look through the pictures below:

The teens at my church had a lock in on New Year's Eve. It was a great turnout with at least 20 teens showing up. Mr. Unger and his son-in-law Ben brought their snow mobiles and pulled the teens and adults around in the snow. I - of course - stood by and took pictures =) The tempurature had to have been only single digits, as we were all freezing. Still a blast though. We played lots of games inside and out, had plenty of snacks thanks to Elizabeth and Lori (and probably others I'm not aware of), and Joe gave a short challenge before midnight. There were many unsaved teens at the event who were able to hear a clear presentation of the gospel.

I know of people who make only one resolution for the upcoming year, some who make many, and even those who don't make any. I try to make at least one goal for myself each year and came up with two areas in my life in which I need to work on, the first being patience. This is something that's not come easily for me in the past few years and I'd like to change that. Second and more importantly to me is reaching out to others. A few months ago I would have told myself that I reach out plenty and that isn't an issue for me... but in reality it is. I noticed that when I try to help others, I end up only wanting that person to help me. I myself don't totally understand how that works, which is frustrating. But I want others to focus on Christ and see Him through my actions and words. Many times when I've helped someone, I want praise and for everyone to notice what I did. That's not what it's about though. The only reason why I even have the ability to be there for others is because of the Lord, so shouldn't all the credit go to Him as well? Certainly!

I'd appreciate your prayers for me this year as I try to better my life for the Lord. Each morning I am in God's word and in prayer. Quite often I have no idea what to pray about for specific friends, and yet God still puts them on my heart to pray for. It's neat how later on I find out that I was praying for someone at the exact time they needed it. Praise the Lord for His goodness, for the fact that He knows everything about everyone, and that we can call Him our Father!