Tuesday, December 18, 2012


“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). -- Matthew 1:23 
Emmanuel: God with us.

That's a pretty mind-blowing concept if you really think about it. That the God of the universe would come to be with us. That the creator of all things would choose to live amongst the created. That the one true deity would put on humanity. Why?
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. -- Romans 5:8
Not because of anything we have done, but because God loves us! Even in our sin and filth, he decided to send His son to be among us... God with us. This is love. This is Christmas.

Take a listen:

  Emmanuel by Heather Block on Grooveshark

Saturday, December 15, 2012

You're Beautiful

I see Your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside Your eyes

The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say 

You’re beautiful.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

Wisdom From Others: Thoughts on Marriage

A few months ago I spent some time over at resolved2worship. I was immensely encouraged and challenged by this blog... reading about Alyssa and her husband's real-life love story here. [Warning- it's LONG- as in 12-parts-plus-some long, but oh so wonderful!]

The story speaks of trust, fear of man, parenting, faith, communication, believing lies, hearing from God, keeping Christ at the center, God's love, and ultimately His redemption and sovereignty. It includes lots and lots of pain, but also so much beauty in the restoration that Jesus brings to their family [they have 8 adorable kiddos, by the way].

So after reading the story in its entirety, I wanted to share some of the wisdom about marriage, relationships, and life that I took away from it [all that follows is written by Alyssa from resolved2worship.]



The number one purpose of marriage is to conform us into the image of Christ.

What is the image of Christ? I think it can best be summed up in three words: unconditional love, mercy, and grace.

So the questions are. . .
- "How would you ever learn unconditional love if you married someone who met all of your "conditions?"

- "How would you ever learn mercy if you were married to someone who never sinned against you?"

- "How would you ever learn grace if you were married to someone who was always deserving of all good things?"

Because God's greatest desire for a couple, and in marriage, is not compatibility or like-mindedness or perfect one-ness. His greatest desire is that we be conformed to the image of Christ. We are conformed to His image not by living with a perfectly compatible, unfailing, deserving mate. We are conformed to His image by being married to an incompatible, failing, undeserving mate.


It is really okay if your heart gets involved and then God sends red flags and tells you to turn around, or cut it off. It might be very hard, and it might be painful. God tells us there could be heart break in relationships. So trying to avoid heart break in a [relationship] can be trying to play God.

God's Word says trials build us. If you go through a difficult, heart breaking relationship, that is God's love for you. Let it take you to the cross, grow you up and prepare you for the relationship that does end in marriage.


You want a guy who pulls you closer to Jesus, not a guy who just pulls out the flesh in you. Ask yourself when you're with a guy, "Do I grow in my walk with God when I'm with him, or is it all just fleshly attraction? Does this guy pull Christ out of me, or pull out my flesh?


The best preparation for marriage? The best "system?"

Real and deep communion with Jesus Christ that penetrates past all externals - a relationship with Him that is greater than any fluffy methods promising less broken hearts and more physical "purity." If you are in real communion with Jesus Christ, it's a relationship that cuts deep to the heart, where true purity either is, or isn't.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up: Holiday Cheer

Thanksgiving is over, and that means that CHRISTMAS is right around the corner! Here are a few tips to create some holiday cheer.

1. Get into the Christmas spirit and take a listen:

2. Check out these super cute vintage ornaments you can make.

3. Best part of December??? ABC's 25 days of Christmas!

4. Die from cuteness overload as you enjoy this rendition of the Christmas story:

5. Remember that although music, ornaments, movies, and the like are oh so much fun, it's all about Jesus!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


This morning I was looking through my huge stack of papers and packets that I have procured over the last couple months of being on EDGE Corps... there's the packet on dealing with conflict, the endless Bible Study charts, the printouts for our women's study, and then I stumbled across what I was looking for: a little packet that we received at our regional staff meeting back in the beginning of October. The title across the top reads "Rest: Fatigued, Frazzled, Fried, or Flourishing." Our lovely friend Marilyn gave this talk at the meeting, and I was looking for this packet for my mom, who had asked for it awhile back after I had told her about it.

But isn't it funny how when you are looking for answers for someone else, you often find them for yourself? I turned to the second page and was just glancing over my notes, when I came across this little gem:
God calls me to be faithful, not spectacular.
I had written this under "The Seduction of Leadership" as a reason that we don't rest. And this quote was starred:
It is possible to gain the world of ministry success and lose your own soul in the midst of it all... there is a real tension between what the human soul needs in order to be truly well and what life in leadership encourages and even requires. -- Ruth Haley Barton
Wow. How I needed to hear this at this exact moment. As I feel the pulls of ministry, I must remember that God doesn't need me, He lets me. I will have to disappoint people. I cannot be intoxicated by the demand for me. I need to rest. Really rest. Not sit-and-watch-tv-rest. Not endlessly-scroll-through-facebook-rest. I need to surrender-control-rest. I need to be-still-and-know-rest. I need to sit-at-His-feet-rest. And when I do that, I will be faithful. Which is what He calls me to be.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Looking At

I love figuring stuff out. I love looking back, seeing where I've been, and looking now at where I'm at. I love looking deep within myself and discovering something I hadn't seen before. I love answers. I love reasons. I love control.

But something I've been realizing lately is that no matter how much I look back, no matter how much I look in, it will never be as important as looking at HIM.

I can look at my wounds and past all day and not get anywhere and look at Jesus for a second and it changes everything.

Looking back, looking in... it's necessary. Every once in awhile. It's crucial to our emotional well-being. But looking at. Well that's just a whole different ball game. Because even if we look back or in, and don't find what we're looking for- answers, reasons, control- we can be certain that when we look at- the One who created us and loves us perfectly- we will always come away with something better than what we were looking for.

And while I've found that I have to limit myself to how much I look back or in, there's no limit on how much I look at Jesus... the more I look at Him, the more I become like Him. And that's just a-ok with me.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Freedom Friday: Sold

I read Sold by Patricia McCormick this weekend. And it literally took me maybe 3 hours.... I think it's written for teens. But it's so good! Here's a journal entry I wrote after I finished it:

I've always seen rescuing victims of sex trafficking as a dauntless, impossible task. Millions, millions of slaves, how could we ever, I ever, make a dent? But it's not about making a dent in those millions. It's about each one of them. One girl. One boy. One soul. That would be worth it. To that one person, rescue would be the world to them. Their life would never be the same. It would be a worthy cause. One soul.
So my recommendation: READ IT. It is a quick read, but one that will change you.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Giving: When It's From Daddy

So a few months back I wrote a post about giving. I made the observation that I felt that God had really been revealing a lot to me about giving leading up to my EDGE Corps experience and in the first few weeks of raising support. And He never stopped teaching me things. I know that this summer I learned so much about having a giving heart, learning both from my donors, as well as through the Word. But somewhere between the middle of August and now, I started to forget some of these things.

I started to believe that what I had was mine, and I didn't want to share. I started to see my possessions  money, and time as things that I had worked hard for, so why should someone else benefit from them?

Yes. I know. Even after a summer of seeing God provide BIG time. Even after so many people sacrificing and generously giving to me. Even after living with some of the most giving people I know. I sure can be daft sometimes.

Orrrr, I'm just human. And it takes me more than once to learn a lesson. So let's just say that this last week at church really struck me hard. The sermon's topic: Greed. Ohhh boy. Just to give you a tidbit, one line that has stuck with me is this: "Being stingy can just be a cover-up for greed." Yikes. But the real lesson I took away from it was this:
That which I feel my father has provided for me, I can give freely. That which I feel I have provided for myself, I will have a tight grip on.
Let me break it down for you:

My pastor told how he had bought his daughter an MP3 player when she was younger and filled it with  a bunch of Christian music. After a few days he noticed that he hadn't seen the MP3 player in awhile and asked his daughter about it. She explained that she had met a girl on the bus who didn't have an MP3 player, or even any Christian music for that matter, so she gave it to the girl. Similar scenarios happened a few times after this, where the dad would buy her a new MP3 player and she would inevitably end up giving it to someone less fortunate than herself. Finally, when the daughter was old enough to pay for her own MP3 player, she kept it, and still has it to this day. Once she spent her hard-earned money on it, she wasn't as generous with it.

This is how it so often is with us [well, with me anyway]! If I see what I have- possessions, money, time, as coming from my daddy- God, I can live open-handedly with it. I can give freely. It is only when I start believing that I have provided and worked for what I have, when I forget that all I have is a gift from God, that greed starts to creep in. And I know that's not the way I want to live. I want to live generously. I want to live with open hands and an open heart. I want to live like Jesus lived.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Weight of Glory

Part of our job in EDGE Corps includes going through a curriculum, and one of the first things we were assigned was to read "The Weight of Glory" by C.S. Lewis. This guy pretty much blows my mind anytime I read anything by him, but with a title like that I knew this one was going to be extra explosive to my brain. 

And it was. But the part that really grabbed me, that wouldn't let go of its firm grasp, wasn't actually the main point. It was a small section a couple pages in, that spoke of nostalgia.

Lewis rips wide the secret that each of us has a deep desire for our own far-off country... "the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence." This secret yearning, it is so intense, that we "betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name" when any mention of this desire arises.

But Lewis goes on to explain that we have never actually experienced this in our reality, and that when we get "nostalgic" about certain moments in our past, we would not find the actual thing itself, but rather only the reminder of it:
"The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust in them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things-- the beauty, the memory of our own past-- are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers."
This "thing itself," ultimately, is the desire for heaven in each of us, the desire for our proper place, our home. And when we get a glimpse, a tiny sliver of a reflection of this place, we become shy and awkward and desirous and worshippers. Our minds can barely wrap around it, so we belittle it to a memory. A moment. A smell. A tune. But it isn't really any of these that we long for, it is heaven. Eternity placed in our heart.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 
- Ecclesiastes 3:11
Sometimes I feel like God must have placed an extra scoop of eternity into my heart, the desire for it is so strong. I always used to consider myself as one of the most nostalgic people I know. Now I know that I'm just longing for my true home, and trying to label it something else, trying to make sense of it with my human mind. No more will I turn these nostalgic memories into "dumb idols" that will just break my heart. I will go to God with them, and acknowledge that I am longing for Him, and that He alone can satisfy my deep yearnings.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's the Little Things

I've been moved into my current home for a week and a half now... and I'm loving it! My room feels so homey, and I've been realizing that it's the culmination of so many "little things." You know, the little touches that you might not notice at first glance, but when there are many of them together all in one room it just seems to fit. So I thought I'd share with you all some of my favorite little things in my room. Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Staff Say What?

We thought we would give you a glimpse into our lovely staff! Here's 7 of the 8 of us (Jess, our campus director's wife is missing) at our staff bonding day last week.

KC, HB, and Allysha, who was on EDGE Corps last year and is starting her first year as a staff in training! We are sure to get lots of great wisdom from her as we begin our time as new EDGErs.

We feel BLESSED to have such a great team as we start off the year! God is good!

P.S. Just as a reminder, we both still have great needs financially as we head onto campus and prepare to minister to the students. You can join our team by following one of the links to the right under 'Get Involved!'. Thank you for your prayers and support! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Little Steps

A couple years back I went to Romania over Christmas break and worked in some orphanages. I (being me) kept a blog for that adventure as well, and recently went back and read some of my earliest posts about fundraising.

It is humorous for me to read my Junior self talking about having to raise $2800 and how much of a daunting task that was. God was SO preparing me for this time in life where I am asked to raise more than 10 times that much! It is so neat to see how I was learning little steps of trust and seeing God provide, to see how I watched my percentage slowly rise and actually get to 100%.

It's funny how God works, uses events in our past to teach us and prepare us for the present. How He is using today to prepare us for tomorrow. As I look back on my fundraising past, I remember having to raise a few hundred for a trip to NYC, then around $1000 for Mexico, then the daunting $2800 for Romania... and how all the while God was just building up my trust, showing me that He could and would provide, no matter the amount.

And now I get to see Him show up again, only this time it's magnified beyond all my past experiences. God is so good! How precious that He wants so badly for me to know this lesson, this idea of absolute and total trust and dependence on Him, that He patiently teaches it to me over and over again! In the past it has been little steps, but as I am learning and growing, He is asking me to take leaps and bounds, and all the while trust Him.

[In case you're curious, this post was a good reminder about the need for people to send, and this one was fun to read as I can relate to it now, but just at a much higher level!]

Friday, August 17, 2012

Freedom Friday: Krochet Kids Intl.

Like crocheted hats, headbands, sunglasses cases, and even bow-ties? Check out Krochet Kids International... they empower people to rise above poverty by:
  • Creating sustainable economic development programs that support holistic growth of individuals and communities within developing nations.
  • Inspiring the knowledge of a generation about their ability to bring change to a world that is in need.

Check it out! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


This weekend I got to feeling a little crafty. A little fabric and Mod Podge always solves that, right? :) So I went down to the craft shelves in the basement and scrounged up some scrap fabric and Mod Podge, grabbed my Bible and an old office chair, and got to work! [Sorry for the poor photo quality of my phone as well as the lack of before/process pics!]


To cover my Bible, I simply painted a medium layer of Mod Podge onto the cover and placed the fabric over that, wrapping the fabric around the edges and cutting out spaces for the binding and elastic band to still fit around the book. Easy peasy!


To cover the chair, I unscrewed the back and just placed the fabric around the old stuff, taped it in the back (shhhh, don't tell anyone!) and then screwed the back back on. For the seat portion, there was a way on the bottom of the chair to loosen the cushion, so I simply loosened it and tucked the fabric underneath then tightened it. I LOVE a sewing-free project! :)

Both pieces got NEW life from these simple improvements. Plus, my Bible's spine was falling apart and this solved that problem, while enhancing the beauty of it as well! Hope you are inspired to go recover and restyle something of your own! Happy crafting!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Any and Every Circumstance

So I haven't really talked a whole lot about raising support this summer. I've been kind of private about it, keeping to myself as I process through what God is doing, and how and why and when. It has been a journey for certain, and far different than I pictured it being from the get-go.

But when people do ask me about my summer, I often respond with something along the lines of, "raising support is weird." I don't have set hours. I don't get in my car, go to work from 9-5, and come home to relax. I don't know what a day or a week or a month will look like until it gets here.

I'm a pattern person. I like predictability and rhythm in my schedule. So this was tricky. I hated looking at an empty calendar with no appointments. I could barely stand the thought of another unstructured day. But God used it. I learned to manage my time. To take initiative. To have time to worship, work and play. I learned that I LOVED talking to people, casting vision for what God can and will do, sharing my passions and burdens. I learned that hearing about peoples' lives was far more than just work, it was loving them and seeing them where they are at, their hurts and joys alike. I learned that God works through and despite my blunders and shortcomings.

This summer has proven a teacher of many things. The question rings over and over- "Can you trust Me in times of plenty and in times of want? Can you trust Me when funds are coming in and you are optimistic and people are responding well? Can you trust Me when you haven't received a check in weeks, when you are feeling down-trodden and people are disinterested?"

Paul writes in Philippians 4:

I am three days away from my goal to be 75% funded. August 15th. I am currently 61%. GOD is my strength. Whether I'm in the ups of raising support or the downs. Whether I am fully funded, or not. I have found the secret to being content in any and every circumstance, God is my strength!

Learning to Dance

I think one of the most beautiful things is when a man sings about dancing with Jesus.

Lockstep by Will Reagan and United Pursuit
Safe from all the raging storms
Find me in your loving arms
Free from all my doubt and fears
I have found a haven here

He is with me
I am not alone

Your love is sweeter than honey
Your love is stronger than death
Your love lifts me of my burdens
Teaches me to dance

Lockstep with my God and King
Move in perfect harmony
Feel the rhythms of his heart
Know the joy that he imparts

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up

Happy weekend! Just a few things that I have enjoyed lately... hope you enjoy as well! 

+ So apparently these may be limited time and only at participating McDonalds.... so get in your car and drive over to your MickeyD's immediately to find out if they have them... dipped cones! Hard shell of chocolate around the normal soft-serve cones= AMAZING!

+ Check out the Facebook page for the new Davies center! It's opening for a bit on Monday and I hope to be there! Maybe I can provide you all with some sneak peaks! :)

+ I'm currently digging this song...

+ I'm thinking of getting into running more... I would love to run a 5k someday. Here's a "couch to 5k" chart I found that looks like it could be promising. Maybe someday isn't too far away? :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kinda Addicted

Don’t be embarrassed but you can join me in raising your hand if much of a week or other extended period of time can be remembered by what song you listened to on repeat (riding in the car, dancing in the living room, starting it over & over to stop messing up the lyrics)…

For me it has been the song Farther Along by Josh Garrels.

Every time I listen to it I am thinking or processing through something different and I just can’t get enough. I hope you enjoy and share what you think!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Thoughts on Theology

So this summer I've been doing a lot of writing over at The Things That Make Us Tick. And it's been pretty great. But sometimes I just need a place to share more personal stuff, stuff that doesn't necessarily have to do with EDGE Corps or the Navigators or support raising, or any of that.

Lately God has been working on my theology. Which is a tricky thing to do with a girl who has a past aversion to theology, doctrine, and the like, mainly due to the fact that these things are so often linked with debate and arguments... and ultimately competition (another one of those things that this girl has an aversion to).

But theology doesn't have to be linked with those things, because really, all it is is the study of the nature of God.

And I guess as far as recording here for you all how God has been changing my theology, I don't really have the words. I just know that it's been good and difficult all at the same time. And that as He's doing it I'm getting closer to knowing who He truly is, getting closer to the truth.

So I'm going to leave you all with this to listen to if you'd like... some teachings about decision-making and the will of God that I have really been digging. Careful, they might mess with your theology. ;)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Freedom Friday: IJM Just Us Run

In Eau Claire this summer and looking for a way to get involved in the fight against injustice, specifically slavery? This Wednesday at 6pm at Owen Park there will be the 4th Annual Just Us Run/Walk with proceeds going to International Justice Mission. Check out their website here for more info! Maybe I'll see ya there! :)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

She took some and ate it.

I just started reading "Made to Crave" by Lysa Terkeurst and chapter one had an INCREDIBLE insight that really helped me understand temptation and how satan works. So most of the post that follows is taken directly from her book, but I just had to share it with you!
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world. 
1 John 2:15-16 
Three ways satan tries to lure us away from loving God:
  1. The cravings of the sinful man
  2. The lust of his eyes
  3. The boasting of what he has or does
Cravings: trying to get our physical desires met outside the will of God
Lust of eyes: trying to get our material desires met outside the will of God
Boasting: trying to get our need for significance met outside the will of God

This is found in Genesis 3:6 when satan tempts Eve:
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband,who was with her, and he ate it.
It is also found when satan tries to tempt Jesus in Matthew 4:1-11:

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
In both these circumstances, satan appealed to the cravings, the lust of the eye, and pride or significance. For Eve, it was that the fruit was good for food, looked pleasing, and would give her wisdom. For Jesus it was that the bread would have quenched his hunger, the kingdoms of the world looked pleasing, and His significance would be proved if God sent angels to save Him.

The big difference between these two situations is that Eve gave in and Jesus did not. Eve "took some and ate it." Jesus answered satan's every temptation with the Word. Eve was consumed with the object of her desire, while Jesus was consumed with the Word of God.

The way we fight temptation is with the Word. Follow Jesus' example. Hide the Word in your heart, so that when satan comes knocking, enticing you with your cravings, lust of your eyes, or boasting of what you could be or do, you can fight back with the Word that is sharper than any two-edged-sword.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up: Spice up your Summer

1. Check out this video. Go to your local Michaels and buy one of these. Or you can find them here. [I personally love the "doodle red" one!] Commence hours of crafting.

2. Looking for a good summer jam? Well look no more! Listen to 'Some Nights' by Fun. You will be dancing night and day.

3. Also in need of a great summer tv series? Once again, your quest is over... check out 'Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.' I have no idea how you get ahold of it aside from buying it from Amazon, but do whatever is necessary to do so. You will not be disappointed. Seriously... how could this not be amazing?!

4. Check out your local thrift store [Goodwill is preferable]. You never know what you may find!

5. Spend time with Jesus! All these things might make your summer more fun, but Jesus will definitely make your summer meaningful and complete! 

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