Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's Christmas!

What a different Christmas season this has been!

I go home TOMORROW!

It doesn't feel like any other Christmas.... but it has been a good season!

When I think of the Christmas season I think of....

The Christmas story.

This season has been full of tears, homesickness, and seeing a lot of pain.
It showed me a lot of stuff about God that I had never known.

This season I looked at Christmas in a totally different light.

I didn't go Christmas shopping... bake tons of cookies... sing at the top of my lungs.... have loads of people over... and cuddle with my little siblings.

I have seen God's redeeming work in womens' lives.
I have come to a point that I couldn't go on and saw Him carry me.
I have loved... like I have never loved before...

I love my family and have longed for them.
I love the residents here... oh, how I love them.
I love the wonderful Staff and Interns that God has placed here.
I love Heaven... I LONG for Heaven!
I love God's redemptive work.
I love His PLAN! The one that I can't understand... but don't have to.
I love God in a new way

I love Christmas... always have.
I love all of the things that I didn't have this year... but it was really special to think about what Christmas REALLY is about.

The fact that I have a relationship with my Savior is all because of the baby that was sent to earth.
A baby with a tragic yet beautiful purpose...

The fact that GOD REDEEMS because Jesus paid for our sins!
The fact that I can rest in Him and bask in His love because His Son tore away the veil that separated us!

Normally I am surrounded by people who I love and who love me.... This season I was carried by THE One who loves me.

I'm thankful for the last month. I'm thankful for a Christmas season that didn't "feel" like Christmas yet showed me what it is all about!
I am so excited to be going home tomorrow... I can't even explain HOW excited because it still doesn't feel real... but God knew how important this time was.

"Oh holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth."

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Wow... lots has happened since last Thanksgiving.

My life is very different.

God has blessed me.

I still have a lot to be thankful.
A lot.
More than ever before...

Being 2,000 miles away from home has a way of showing you what you have been blessed with.

This year's list is a bit different... but better.

I am thankful for this internship.
What a blessing to have the opportunity to be in a home like this. To be under the teaching of very wise and godly women.

I am thankful for God's unending, constant, and beautiful grace towards me.
It amazes me over and over again.

I am thankful for HIS strength,
I am more weak and pathetic than I ever imagined possible
Each shift I go on.... I see God at work.
Each time I go on shift.... I know God held me and strengthened me through the entire time.

I am thankful for trials.
No, I don't handle them as I should, but throughout every hard time God has brought me so much closer to Himself... I am thankful for that!

I am thankful for my family.... my one of a kind, wonderful, too good to be true family.
My heart aches... I miss them.
I've always known I was blessed with something very special... but being far away has made me have an even greater appreciation for what I have.

I am SO thankful for my mom.
She is a blessing from God.
She has been my counselor, confidant, friend....
She has listened to a crazy amount of tears... she hears my heart when I don't feel like moving on.
She has been a vessel that God uses to point me to truth and Himself. She has been a prayer warrior and truly my best friend.
I am so blessed....

I am thankful for every single girl in this program.
I love them all so much.... I love the amazing redeeming work He is doing in their life.
I love the love that God gives.... it is overwhelming.

I am thankful for this time.....
It is hard. ...
I am tired....
I can't do anything....


GOD is holding me
My SAVIOR is giving me life... abundant life!
I don't have to do anything... I am only a vessel for Jesus.

I am on a honeymoon with my Beloved Savior!
He is drawing me close to Himself, changing me, stretching me....

I miss what I had last year an awful lot....
But I wouldn't trade what God is doing now for the world.


Monday, October 22, 2012


Happy Birthday, JOHNNY!

It is so insane and ridiculous that my biggest brother is now 18!
Goodness.... I miss this guy! 

He rocks my socks! 

Johnny is so dear to me! 
We have a million memories that I will never ever forget!
I miss being a kid... I miss being crazy.... I miss this guy!

I am so thankful for the wonderful brother and friend that Johnny is to me!

It is crazy to see your "little" brother grow up.... it's also awesome. 

It's awesome to see him growing as a man of God!

 Johnny is more of a blessing that he could ever really know!

I miss him so much....

I love him SO much!

Friday, October 19, 2012


My littlest brother turned 14 today!
I have never missed his day before. It's killing me!

Peter is like none other.
His joy and energy rock my world.
I truly cherish the memories I have with Pete.
The crazy times we have shared will never EVER be lost in my heart.
I plan on having many more crazy times with him... but for now, I'm in Indiana, he's in Idaho.

I wish so much I could share this day with him...
...To have him come wake us all up way too early in the morning.
... To sing him "Happy Birthday," super off key.
... To  make him a gourmet bowl of Fruit Loops.
... To....

This is not helping.

Peter. I love you.
More than anything.
You make my heart sing every single time I am talking to mom and hear, "Please, PLEASE! I NEED to talk to her!!"
Or the times I get an emergency text and call to hear, "Oh hey! I just wanted to talk!"
I am blessed beyond words to have you in my life!
I am so proud of the man that you are!

I miss you. SO. MUCH!
I want to be with you today... but we will make up it in 9 weeks!

Pete. I love you.

Peter took me to coffee before I left.... BEST date EVER!!!!!

Peter has awesome hair!!!!!

Peter loves to Skype!!!

Peter.... is Da Bomb!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

There is a REDEEMER!!!!!!!!

Happiness = Being in the perfect will of God.
Contentment = Knowing God... nothing else really truly matters.
Joy = Only comes through Christ.
Love = Christ.
Conviction = Obnoxious but wonderful!
Idolatry = Anything you place in higher regard than Christ.

AWESOME = Seeing God Work!!!!!!

Never... ever... EVER did I imagine how wonderful this experience would be.

It is changing my heart.
It is molding my life.
It is amazing.

When I came here....  I thought I would have to basically "survive a year" of serving God.
Now... two months later... I have never been more fulfilled or happy.

I miss home... miss my family... but wouldn't WANT to leave.
I LOVE, absolutely LOVE what God has me doing here.
It stretches me in a growing, learning to love God more type of way.

Recently a girl here at VOH accepted Christ into her heart and life.
NEVER have I seen Salvation in this light.
I will never look at Salvation the same.

I can't even describe the happiness that I feel even thinking about her now.
God redeems.....
God transforms lives....
God loves....
God is amazing.

I am amazed.

Sorry about the lack of posts.... Just a bit busy! :)

Friday, August 17, 2012


My mom is amazing.
I know I have said this before... but it is really true!

She's my best friend.
My confidant.
My mentor.

I love her.
I miss her.....

My family traveled to Canada this afternoon.... which is AWESOME!
They are picking up Johnny and visiting family.
The only "not so awesome" thing is that you can't call from Canada....
This is pretty tragic!

Today was the first time I haven't talked to Mom.
Well, I did talk to her once.
Oh wait. Twice... but they were short talks!

Mom has put up with a ridiculous amount of phone calls through this last month and (almost) three weeks....

She has talked to me through many tears and many joys.
She has encouraged, strengthened, pointed me to Christ

Mom never EVER acts like my calls are a bother.... the exact opposite.
She calls and texts to tell me she's available!!

Would you believe that Mom learned to text?
(Btw.. they can text from Canada!!!!)

Her first few were a jumble of letters and numbers....
After finding the space button, words began to take shape....
NOW... we can actually communicate!

Its pretty awesome because we have our own social network....
Forget Facebook...
I'll update Mom every twenty minutes!

I walk around the pond here many times a day!
I love this pond... it is my place to talk to my mom!
I LOVE those talks... I treasure them.. I look forward to them more than anything else....

Mom blesses me every single day with her wisdom and love.

I can't imagine where I would be without her!
She is so dear to my heart!

I love you, Mom!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

God is Good.

God is so good!
I know I have said this in all of my posts... but I am pretty overwhelmed with the depth and truth of those words.

God's good.... no matter what.

The "what" part has been full of blessings lately.

I still miss my family.

But my heart towards being here has changed drastically!

God has given me a DESIRE to be here.

I wanted to serve the Lord!
I wanted to do His will....
But I wanted to go home...

In the last week or so God has given me such a love for the women here and the work that I am able to be a part of... that I can honestly say I'm glad I have eleven more months.

I have never in my life been so stretched... but I have never been so blessed.
It is humbling to see the many things God is showing me and changing in my life... I wouldn't trade this for anything!

I miss my family like crazy... life would be perfect if they were here but Christmas is coming!
And... "I'll be home for Christmas..."

I still cry often....

I still hurt....

But being in God's will is more beautiful and precious than anything I could have dreamed!

A few pictures of life in this new place!

Ahhh... seeing Jo was too good... but true!
BUDIA'S!!!!! So wonderful to see them! 


My morning spot with Jesus!

"Praise God from Whom all Blessing's Flow...."

Sunday, July 29, 2012


"What if your blessings come through raindrops?"

Have you heard the song "Blessings?"

If not, here you go....

I've loved this song for a while now....
But now it has a totally new meaning. 

God's love is awesome. 

I am learning how distorted my view of His love has been. 

I want to think that love makes people happy... all the time. 

Working here gives you a firsthand view of a lot of hard things.

When I see women hurting... its hard. 
Really hard.
I want to take the pain away.... 
But I'm learning"Loving" people God's way doesn't always mean making them happy. 

Truth is, sometimes things stink. 
Sometimes life is tough. 
Sometimes "a thousand sleepless nights...." is what it takes! 

God's love is crazy.... 

He loves us enough to let us hurt....

Wow. Let that sink in. 

He has a plan bigger than this moment. 
During the weeks here there have been a lot of overwhelming/hard/emotional moments. 
Moments that I couldn't handle on my own.... 

I hated these moments. 

They hurt. 

Then I started taking them to the Lord. 

Giving them to Him. 
Thanking Him for them. 

He did something awesome.... 

He took them. 
He made them into something beautiful!

When I cry, He comforts me as only He can. 
When I want a hug, He holds me. 
When I am lonely, He becomes everything. 

The moments are still hard... but they have taken me to my Savior. 
Brought me to His feet. 

They have become precious to me. 

Sometimes, God takes us through pain and hardship to bring us close to Himself. 

The blessing of knowing Christ has taken tears... I know there will be many tears to come, but I also know that this is a part of the awesome plan God has for my life. 

I know that He loves me enough to want this intimacy with Him!
Thank you, Jesus!

Side note:
I have been here a month!!

I got to see my SISTER and the BUDIAS today!!!!!!

It was so wonderful....


Thursday, July 19, 2012


There is SO much that I have learned since coming here to Indiana... silly stuff and stuff that will rock my world forever more!

A few of those lessons....

- Jesus satisfies.
Every desire.
Every ache.

- I can thank God for my weakness....
This lesson is a hard one.
These last few weeks have shown me a TON of my weaknesses.

When I'm hurting... I don't want to thank God for it.

But when I am hurting and weak is when His strength can be made known.

- I love working out.

We have a free gym pass for a gym that is literally less than fifty feet away from where I live.
I love it....

I have my whole routine worked out.... I pass the time with texting my family random pictures of the people working-out near me.
"Stealth pictures."
You should try.... it's rather fun!

- Needing God = an awesome place to be.

It has been AMAZING/wonderful/awesome to have times... like lots of times... when you NEED Jesus.
You CRAVE His Word.
You talk to Him... or die!

I have never in my life needed Christ like I have in the last couple weeks.

I have never had such a beautiful intimacy with Him!
He has brought me to Himself and held me through joy and pain.
He is my Beloved!

- When you are not living at home you actually have PAIRS of socks!
I don't even know how to handle this crazy phenomena!
Its weird.
It makes me miss home every time I put on socks.

- Pleasing God is what counts.
I can't make everyone happy.
If I try... it is WAY too stressful!

- I am a health nut.
Its ridiculous that I never knew this.

I've spent my whole life eating an amazingly healthy diet... and now that my mom isn't cooking for me daily.... I realize how awesome that is/was!

I have absurd ideas on what "health" is... and I LOVE my ice-cream and chocolate.... but I am shocking myself with how much I care about eating my greens, getting enough protein, etc.

- Coffee and tea are like spaghetti to me.
Comforts of home.
I love them!
I need them!

- Mornings are AWESOME!
My shift starts at 5:45am, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
I've been getting up at 4:30am.

I know.

But I have enjoyed these early mornings SO much!
I get to be awake and have my time with Jesus while everyone else is sleeping!
Its great!

- My family is too good to be true.
But they are true!
I am overwhelmed with how blessed I have been and still am.

I'm already WAY too excited about visiting home!!!!!!!
I love them so much!

- Gangsta is in....
At least at this place!

"True dat!"
"Sho did..."

I think I'm slowly catching on....

- My hair is curly in the humidity.
Crazy.... but curly!

-  Seeing other's pain is really hard.... but God gives grace.
I've had to see a lot of pain lately.
Pain that tears your heart up. 
I can't handle it... but God gives grace, amazing grace to handle situations that I never could see on my own. 

- Time. Something I have never had much of and now am overwhelmed with.... Something that looms ahead me.... something I want to fill.... something that I have to give to God...

Time is God's. 

- The Word of God is so powerful!
It is amazing to see time after time how God provides what I need through the Bible.

- Jesus is mine.
I am His. 

This life... its about Him.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Settling In

I'm moved in.
I'm settled.
I'm watching a movie with my roomies.
I drank a cup of tea.
I Skyped with my fam.

I'm good.
Really good!!!!

God is great.
REALLY great!

I am so blessed with a wonderful place to stay... wonderful "other newbies" to be with (Yes, we did just go stealth mode to find ice-cream)... and an awesome God who has been holding me through everything!

It's been a crazy two weeks.

Lots of adjusting.
Lots of tears.
Lots of learning.

There have been many hard times.
Times that have made my heart break into a thousand pieces and made me fall on my face before my Savior.
These times are precious.

Vision of Hope is an amazing place.

God is working SO hugely here!

I am so blessed....
It is such an honor to have a front row seat of what God is doing!

I start "work" on Monday.
Please be praying!

I have never felt more inadequate. 
I cannot do this.... any of it. 

I have nothing.... but Christ is everything.

I need Him.... so bad!

Please keep praying?
It means the world to me....

"I can do ALL things through HIM who strengthens me..."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

To Know Him...

Well. I'm alive! 
Only through God's amazing grace!!!!

God has been so good. 

It hasn't been easy. 

But God has been so good! 

"Training" is over.... we are shadowing this week.
Monday will be my first shift alone. 

Please PLEASE pray for me! 

To be honest... I'm freaking out!

But that's me. 

God is SO much bigger than I am. 

God has taken me out of more comfort zones than I knew existed...

It has been painful and emotional. 
But it has been good. 

My poor mom has put up with more calls home than should be allowed. 

I am so blessed by my support system back home... SO very blessed.

From my little siblings sweet "I love you" emails, to the long talks with mom, my sisters sweet comfort, my dads continuous love and wisdom, friends who have written.... I am SO blessed. 

Philippians 3:8
 "Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord..."

Knowing Christ is beautiful.
Coming to know Christ is worth it.....

This is a precious time to come to know him in a totally new and intimate way.
This is new and scary... but it is giving me more opportunities to draw closer to the Lord than ever before.
This is a time that makes me truly starve for Christ. Starve for His word. Starve for His wisdom.  Starve for Him.
This is a time that is bringing me to the point of leaning on him for everything. 
This is taking me beyond myself.

This is hard... but this is worth it!

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Wow. Day six in Indiana.

Seems like forever since I left.

We've had three days of training.... whew!
SO much info is packed in my already overwhelmed/overtired brain. 

God has been so faithful and good to me. 
My first two days here.... I almost died. 
Not literally... but it felt an awful lot like it. 
I have never felt so overwhelmed in my life. 
As I flew over, as I stayed my first night, as I realised I would be here for a year. 
Talk about freaking out!
Talk about needing to be dependent on Christ!
Talk about feeling sick. 

Did you know homesickness is an actual sickness?
Neither did I... but I am pretty sure it is.
I felt sick before I left, I felt sick when I got here, I still feel sick from time to time. 
Not like actual sick...  but my stomach was knotted up a million times and food seemed nauseating.

Did you know your heart can actually ache?
It can.
Mine did. 

Did you know God is awesome?!?
HE IS!!!!! 

God has been so so so so good. 
He has given me peace and excitement. 

He has held me in His arms and given me strength in my weakness. 

I am so excited about this upcoming year. 

I am excited to look to the Savior more than ever before.
We have been learning so much through training.... yet I am constantly realizing that ONLY through Christ can I possibly do this job. 
Throughout each moment I will need to be looking to Jesus for wisdom, grace, love, words. 

I am excited to be a part of the awesome team at Vision of Hope!

All of the "newbies!"
I know we will have so much fun together.... while growing together in the Lord.

I am SO excited to work with the women here.... women that are hurting and need Christ's love.
Women that already are showing me how much I have to learn. 

Thank you, Lord!!!

Now for a few pictures!!!!


Our "back-yard!"

We went slack-lining.... it was super fun and MUCH harder than it looks!

(Don't tell me you don't see it!)

"In Christ alone my HOPE is found...."

Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Few Things About Indiana

I'm here!
It's weird!
Really overwhelming.... but making me lean more than ever on my Savior.

Some Things:

1. It's hot.
2. It's humid.
3.  It's beautiful... but totally different beautiful than Idaho beautiful.
4. The water is warm enough to go floating in. We went floating....
5. I am alive.
6. I am getting over the first shock.... slowly but surely.
7. Christ is my beloved.... He is holding me.
8. "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me...."
9. I start training on Monday....
10. "“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

Thank you for your prayers and please PALEASE keep praying!
It really does make a difference!

Toodles for now!

Friday, June 29, 2012

On My Way....

I'm sitting in the Denver Airport.... listening to children argue.
Holding back tears.

I really thought I was prepared for this....
After months of getting ready, weeks of feeling pensive, nervous, and emotional.... I thought I was ready.

But I'm not.
am feeling overwhelmed with how huge and scary this all is.
I am trying to imagine life without my precious family. 
I am suddenly aware that I won't be flying back next week.
I am realizing how very long a year is.
I am scared.

I can't do this.

But I don't have to. 

God didn't take me this far to have me have a melt-down in the airport. 
HE has a plan.
HE has a purpose. 
HE is holding me.

I am just His vessel. 

I am super weak.
Weaker than I ever though possible.... but He is strong.

I have been so blessed.
My life has been so wonderful.

I had a comfort zone.... it was perfect.
God's pushing me out of it.
It hurts.
But a good, necessary pain.

A pain that brings me to the foot of the cross.

I know God has great plans for this year....
I know that there will be hard times, but I know that He will carry me.

My plane is starting to load.... Next up, Indiana.

Please pray for me!

And... could you pray I stop crying?
It's getting awkward.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Friendship = Da Bomb

I had an AWESOME time with some girls  yesterday!

I am going to miss them a ton!!!!

It seems like just yesterday we were little girls... 

I have SO many wonderful memories with them!

What's with all this "growing up" stuff?!?!?!?
I think I've had enough!

Now, Beth and Tiff both have babies... and husbands. 

We are old.
We are busy.
Clare is getting married and moving.
I am moving.
Certain individuals are graying.
I lied on that last part. 

We've been through a lot together. 
They have been there for me SO many times.
We have done SO many crazy/stupid/awesome thing together.

Yesterday, we got to have the whole clan (+Babies.) together for a picnic.

I love these girls so much! 
They are treasures!!!!!!!

Saying good-bye to them hurt. 

I love them.
I will miss them!!!!