Thursday, December 26, 2013

Guest Post: Ministry in Nursing

Editor's Note:
I met Becki through the Navigators in college (how else would I have any friends?!). She is a joy and cares deeply for others. Becki is a registered nurse in Eau Claire and is currently working in oncology. She loves drinking coffee, playing Scrabble, and dancing. She hopes to be able to travel the world, meet interesting people, and become a wife and mother someday. Becki can do almost any impression of Kristen Wiig and she has seen every episode of The Office multiple times. Whether for a laugh or a good cry, she's your girl! -HB

Ministry in Nursing

When Heather asked me to be a guest blogger, she told me to write about something I’m passionate about. My first thought was, “Would anyone really read a whole blog post about how much I love coffee?” 
[I’m sure there would be a few interested readers.] 

But the thing I am really passionate about is my ministry in nursing. I say ministry in nursing because I decided a while back that I never want to view nursing as just a job that pays the bills, or as a career that runs my life, but as a ministry that God has chosen, prepared, and designed me for. While many of my fellow RNs would say that they chose nursing (for the patients, for the intellectual challenge, for the job security…), I would say that God chose nursing for me. 

I am thankful that in months of applying for nursing jobs and waiting, God corrected my mistaken identity. You see, for a while I thought my identity was in being a nurse. I felt like if I didn’t do what I had gone to school to do, I wasn’t living out my calling. But then I realized, I would only ever live out my calling if I understood my identity as a beloved daughter of Christ. 

We can choose to live in God-centered identities that pursue His mission or we can choose to live in self-centered identities that wear a “Jesus is my homeboy” t-shirt. 

I have been an oncology {cancer} nurse for about two months. Being a novice at anything is unsettling, but especially so when it revolves around other people’s lives. When I tell people I work with cancer patients, most people’s first response is:

“Oh, that must be so sad! Isn’t it difficult?”[To this question, I have no easy answer.
If I’m being flat out honest – yes. It is extremely difficult. But it is also extremely rewarding. One day I might be holding a patient’s hand while they cry and the next I might be singing Christmas carols with a patient who loves to sing. One day I might see someone on the edge of death and the next day I will send a patient home ready for another day of life.  

It is a rollercoaster of emotions and a mess of mercies. 

In the short amount of time I have worked as an oncology nurse, I have learned so much from my patients. 
One man gave me this simple advice on his 87th birthday: “Be honest. Work hard.”As a dying woman wrote her own obituary, she told me the best thing she ever did was ‘marry a good friend’. 

Each patient teaches me the value of life. Every person deserves dignity in life and in death. [After all, Christ died an undignified death so we might have LIFE!]

They are teaching me to live a life that is worthy of the calling I have received (Ephesians 4:1). A life that brings hope, peace, and unconditional love. A difficult but eternally rewarding life. 

So while I know it is difficult, I would challenge you to live this kind of life. Remember who(se) you are. Allow God to show you why you’re here. And as my good friend Heather puts it,

Live Loved. 

Friday, December 20, 2013


Psst... to give you can click on the "Support hb" link to the right or click here.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Dangerous Women Pt. 2: Grounded in Love

So remember when awhile back I wrote a post on being a dangerous women? [Guys, if you've gotten this far, stick around... this applies to you too- the quote is just directed at women]. Here's a reminder of the quote I was writing from:
“A dangerous woman is alive! She knows she is deeply loved by God and grounds herself daily in that love. She delves deeply into the truth about who she is and claims her unique temperament, gifts, passions and dreams. She refuses to let fear stop her as she responds to God’s calling on her life. And out of her fully alive heart, she radically engages with the needs of the world.”- Lynne Hybels
I want to explore the next aspect of living a life that is dangerous to the kingdom of darkness- knowing you are deeply loved by God and being grounded in that love. 

If you think about it, this is the very same concept that I sign off with every post- live loved. So you might as well just read the post that describes why I sign off with that and be done with it. Just kidding. I'll give ya a little more.

You are deeply loved by God. You are deeply loved by God. You are deeply loved by God. I cannot say that enough, and you cannot hear it enough. So how do we root this truth so deep down into our hearts that we are grounded by it, that no earthly thing can tear it away?

Pray and ask God to open your eyes to His incomprehensible love for you. Ask Him to show you in new and big ways. Ask Him to make you aware of the little ways He loves you. Ask Him to cultivate in you a deep gratitude for His love.

Renew your mind and meditate on His Truth. Spend time in God's Word, keeping a look-out for truth about how much He loves you. What we spend time thinking on is what we start believing. If the thoughts you are thinking aren't true and don't line up with God's truth, get them out of there! Replace them with the truth you find in His Word.

Ground yourself in the truth of God's love for you DAILY. We're humans. We forget easily. Far too easily. The antidote to this is to remind ourselves often. Be asking God to open your eyes to His love daily. Meditate on the truth you find daily. Position yourself under His love daily. And maybe, just maybe His love will go so deep in you that you are grounded in it, rooted in it, like Paul talks about in Ephesians.

"...that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3: 17-19

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up: Holiday Cheer, Year 2

Last year near the end of November I did a Holiday themed Weekend Wrap-Up, and I thought it was about time to bring that back! With the ridiculous viral-ness of articles and videos on Facebook these days you may have already seen much of this, but in the off chance that you swing in different circles than I do and haven't, I wanted to make sure you got to partake this holiday season. :)

1. Of course what better way to start off than with Pentatonix again!?

2. Check out this Christmas Playlist... I'm definitely going to be looking some of these up. Grooveshark, anyone?

3. This is just ridiculous. 

4. Here's a couple free Christmas phone wallpapers you can download.

5. Spice up your manicure with some holiday fun!

And remember... JESUS is the REASON for the SEASON! 

P.S. For more great holiday inspiration, make sure and check out my "Holidaze" board on Pinterest!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

How Being on EDGE is a Lot Like Being in a Relationship

So in case you didn't know, I am currently in FLORIDA headed into my last day of what has been a week-long conference for my job with The Navigators. How blessed I feel to be spending time in a warm and beautiful place with hundreds of others who are doing the same work on campuses all over the nation! It has been an encouraging and challenging week as I've heard speakers, attended workshops, and caught up with friends from Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Illinois, and all over the US!

As we were given some time to reflect on the things we had learned from our year and a half on EDGE Corps so far, I had one burning thought- being on EDGE is a lot like being in a relationship. Let me break it down for you.

My time spent on staff with The Navigators has been incredibly refining.
Whew! If there's one thing I've learned on EDGE it's that I am a sinner and I NEED Jesus. Every. Stinkin'. Day. Doing full-time ministry has exposed my selfishness, my desire for control, and just how much I need God's grace. I have seen both my pride and my insecurities clearer this past year and a half than ever before. I have been more aware of my weaknesses and shortcomings. But I have also seen clearer how much God loves me and wants to take me further than I am right now. 

I have learned that it's not about me.
Like I said- full-time ministry has exposed my selfishness. It has exposed my desire to serve self. To be comfortable and have it easy. But it's not about me. Life isn't about me. It's not about people loving me and serving me and being as comfortable as I can. It's all about loving Jesus, and loving people. If I'm not doing either, then any of the work I do is just a noisy gong. As a follower of Jesus I am called to lay down my life for others, as Jesus did for me. And I think I have realized that calling even more now that I am vocationally doing ministry.

I have been forced to trust and depend on the Lord more than ever in the past.
Again. Jesus. I need Him. Being on EDGE has presented circumstances that have grown my trust in God immensely. [Two words- support. raising.] I have had to depend on Him in a very real way for my livelihood. I have had to rely on His power to make any of the work I do be productive for His Kingdom. I have had to trust that He would work in students' hearts even when things seemed to be at a standstill. I have seen God come through for me in huge ways and my dependence on Him has deepened.

These lessons I've learned while on EDGE seem eerily similar to lessons learned in relationships. Maybe that's just life. Maybe God chooses to refine us and teach us and humble us through the circumstances we find ourselves in. Maybe He uses whatever means He wants to reveal Himself to us. And those means are happy and hard and joy-filled and uncertain and wonderful and messy all at the same time.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things

Happy winter! Although the first day of winter is still a good month and a half away, I feel justified in this greeting. Yesterday I woke up to a car covered in leaves (that I had to brush off with my ice-scraper) and today I woke up to a nice layer of ice. So it seems that the seasons have changed overnight and we are now in that season that us frozen chosen live for - winter! Construction will be done soon and we're headed into months of indoor activities- such as reading, cuddling, and watching seasons upon seasons of TV shows. So, without further ado, I bring you a few of my favorite things... inspired by the changing of seasons!

Candles. I have been obsessed with candles the last few days! Especially the WoodWick variety. It's a crackling candle. How could you not love that? One of the few pros of the change in weather is that it's perfect for cozying up with a good book by the fireplace (or clump of candles in my case).

White Collar. Ok. This show has always been one of my favorite things. But I just discovered there's a new season playing! And I seriously cannot wait until I have time to (cuddle up by my clump of candles) and watch the new episodes. If you're looking for a quality show, this is it. Humor, thievery, enduring friendship, and loads of white collar crime action.

Mystic Topaz. How cool is this stone? One of my friends has a ring and I fell in love instantly! It's different from every angle you look at it! AND fairly cheap. Win-win.


Quillows. A quilt that can fold up into a pillow. Who knew this was a thing?? After looking for a photo on Pinterest I realized that they are apparently usually geared toward kids, but I say pish-posh to that. Best. Invention. Ever. Also, you can stick your feet into the little pocket and your blanket won't slide off you!

Divergent series by Veronica Roth. Just read it. I've only read the first book, but let's just say I devoured that sucker and am so excited to (again) have enough time on my hands to get into the second in the series! (But the real question is... will I go for White Collar or this first??) Plus, Divergent will be coming out in theatres in March so you should probably read it before then so you're not one of those sad people who is a fan of the movies but has never read the book.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Newsletter

I just put out my fall newsletter and thought I would share it on here for those of you who haven't seen it yet! Sorry... I'm a little slow at sending it to all my on-campus friends since I still need to look up new addresses but it should be coming to you soon! :) If you would like to receive my newsletter comment below or shoot me an e-mail or Facebook message. Hope your fall is looking lovely! 

To view it larger you can go here!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

All There

Holy Caboose, this is hard! To be "all there." To be fully present and engaged with whoever you are with, wherever you are at. 

No. Matter. What. 

Regardless of how much sleep you got, or how hard you've worked this week, or how fried your brain feels. Because let's be honest, there will most likely always be something that we could use as an excuse to check out, to un-engage. 

But checking out isn't really loving. It's loving on our terms. When we feel energized enough. Or focused enough. Or fill-in-the-blank-here enough.

With that being said, it's also not loving to yourself or others to not have boundaries. Boundaries help us to get enough rest, to have enough margin, and to take care of ourselves. All of which are entirely important for us to be present and engaged. 

So how do we be all there

We can start by finding our rest in God. Psalm 62:1 puts it well: "My soul finds rest in God alone." I'm starting to realize that as a believer, I don't get rest the same way the world does. I can nap or watch a movie or just be- which are all fine things- but if I'm not getting rest in the Lord, I can still feel just as frazzled as before. 

In the past month I have heard three separate talks where the speaker references Matthew 11:28-30. THREE talks, guys! I think I should probably pay attention to this. So anywho, Jesus says "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

It's a pretty famous verse about rest. But it's SO good because it comes straight from Jesus' mouth. He invites us to come. He offers rest. Real rest. Not just sit-on-the-couch-and-surf-facebook rest. He wants to teach us. He wants us to find rest for our souls and trade our heavy burdens for His light one.

So that's what I'm embracing today. That's the step I'm taking to become better at being "all there." At living fully alive and present and engaged. To find my rest in God alone. To come to Jesus and to learn what rest for my soul looks like. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Coffee Date

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I don't actually like coffee so I'm going to get a chai tea latte if that's okay with you?

If we were having coffee, I would let you know that I'm tired, tired, tired but that's because my life is full of wonderful happy things like friends getting married and people wanting to pour into my life and friends wanting to catch up and people who I like to talk to on the phone til all hours of the night.

If we were having coffee, I'd want to know when the last time you just did nothing was. I've recently become convinced that doing nothing is good for your soul and should happen on a regular basis.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I don't know what's next in life, and as scary as that is, it's also really exciting to think of the possibilities.

If we were having coffee, I'd let you know that even though it's hard, that exploring, growing, "going there" with your emotions and feelings, and really digging into the Word is all worth it for your relationship with Jesus to flourish.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I picked up my guitar for the first time in months yesterday. It was all dusty and out-of-tune, but my fingers hurt today and that's always a good sign.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you how your intimacy with Christ is. Because I would want you to ask me the same and because life really is better in community with people who are willing to go there.

Idea from Aslan's Auspicious Albany Adventure

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Image here.

When we believe lies and live our lives in a way that we see them as truth, our souls whither. Our hearts become parched as they thirst for something real. Something beautiful. Something that fills us with hope rather than dread.

Truth is like a summer rain on dry barren land. It causes our hearts, our souls to flourish. When we are living in the truth we can begin to thrive.

Here is truth:

+ Nothing you do (or don't do) could EVER make God love you more or less than he does in this moment.
+ God's love for you is not dependent on any circumstances or anything you think, do, feel, or say.
+ God delights in you and loves to give you good gifts... but He doesn't have to (see next point).
+ Anything and everything from God is pure grace- something that we get for free without deserving it one bit. We are human sinners. He is God. Yet He chose to pay the highest price for us (Jesus), and chooses to continue in deep relationship with us. Grace.
+ God, like a loving Father wants your obedience to Him to flow out of your love for Him, not out of a pressure and fear-filled expectation or duty.
+ Jesus loves you, this I know. In my heart, my bones, my soul.

So please, dear friends, go out there and...

Monday, September 2, 2013

Demand Nothing

I've been reading a book by Dr. Larry Crabb entitled "Inside Out." Like most books I start, it has been a slow process as I read a chapter or two, get sidetracked by another book, come back for another chapter or two, and inevitably start the whole cycle over again. So needless to say this one's been by my bed for the last year. But it is SO GOOD. 

I just finished the chapter entitled "The Problem of Demandingness." Oof. This was heavy stuff, ya'll! I really wanted to blog about it because it was SO GOOD, and so I was going to process through it all and share my thoughts, but in reality I might never get all this processed. And Larry knows what he's talking about. So below I've shared some of the hard-hitting ideas from the chapter in an order that seems to mostly make sense if you read it all through like there aren't paragraphs and pages between each thought. :) 

So all that follows is written by Dr. Larry Crabb (for copyright reasons or whatever... I'd hate for him to stop by the blog and then try and sue me). Cute lil graphic by yours truly. Feel free to steal it. 

"Problems may fuel a demanding spirit but never justify it.

To insist on something, we must first persuade ourself that what we're after is deserved and legitimate, that we have a solid basis for our demands. And nothing persuades us more completely that our weary soul deserves a break than continued heartache.

We tend to measure someone's love by their degree of cooperation with our plans. God's refusal to help us pursue our goals [of happiness or relief] and His insistence that we yield our plans to His makes Him seem unconcerned about our happiness.

We are so deeply committed to our own well-being that anyone who blocks our path to the joy we desire becomes the object of our wrath while we suffer with noble grief.

Perhaps the first step in learning humility is to consider who it is we think must change. A demand that things be different represents an accusation against God, a charge that He's guilty of mismanagement and negligence in His duties.

Suffering can be intense, but no level of suffering justifies us in deciding how we should be treated. Nor can pain be so severe that sinful strategies for finding relief become acceptable.

The necessary foundation for any relationship with God is a recognition that God is God and we are not. We therefore have no business demanding anything of anyone, no matter how fervently our soul longs for relief from pain.

It's one thing to petition with urgency and passion, to weep in anguish, and to plead for relief. It's quite another to demand that the will of the Almighty be one with our own.

The beginning of maturity is an estimate of oneself that makes demandingness unthinkable. And that estimate develops when we confront the reality of who God is and who we are.

Desire much, pray for much, but demand nothing. To trust God means to demand nothing."

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Best and Worst

"I have seen the best of you, and the worst of you, and I choose both." How we as humans long to hear another human say that to us! How we long for deep, meaningful relationships, for intimacy, for love. How we ache to be known fully and still accepted, to be truly vulnerable before another and still embraced. To be unconditionally loved.

What a gift it is be loved this way. How rare and uncommon, yet beautiful. 

Unconditional love is not loving someone in spite of their flaws, mistakes, and imperfections, it's loving them in view of those flaws, mistakes, and imperfections. It's not ignoring their weaknesses and just loving their strengths, but choosing to love them- strengths, weaknesses, and all. 

Unconditional love is a choice we must make as we see the light and the dark in people. It's a choice that requires us to face the darkness inside ourselves. Because really, when we see others' imperfections we are often reminded of our own. So it's easier to sweep those flaws under the rug and just keep on loving that person, pretending that whatever we've just discovered about them doesn't exist.

But that's not really loving them. That's only loving a portion of them, a version of them that doesn't line up with reality. Truly loving someone involves acknowledging their imperfections, their flaws, their weaknesses and mistakes and saying "I see you as you truly are, and I still love you. I know what you've done, but that doesn't change my love for you. I want you in my life and I want to walk this path with you." 

Even as I write this I know it sounds impossible. I am overwhelmed by this kind of love we are called to show to our brothers and sisters. I wonder how I could ever get to a point where I am not constantly trying to self-protect, or numb out my own darkness, or live in a fantasy world where people don't hurt me. But I know it is possible. But not by my own strength. Not through my own energy that I conjure up.

This kind of love- this unconditional love for people in view of their imperfections and flaws is possible because God showed us this same love. He showed us His never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love by sending Jesus. And Jesus showed us this unconditional love that while we were still shaking our angry, entitled fists at God He chose to switch places with us and die, crushed by the weight of our sins, while we are given a new life, if we choose to believe.

And as we follow Jesus, we are called to this same love... this never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love. This love that loves in view of others' imperfections, not just in spite of.

1 John 3:16 
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dangerous Women Pt. 1: Living Alive

“A dangerous woman is alive! She knows she is deeply loved by God and grounds herself daily in that love. She delves deeply into the truth about who she is and claims her unique temperament, gifts, passions and dreams. She refuses to let fear stop her as she responds to God’s calling on her life. And out of her fully alive heart, she radically engages with the needs of the world.”
I L.O.V.E. this quote by Lynne Hybels! I feel like it does a super job summing up what I want for my life and for the lives of the women that I encounter on a daily basis. I love it so much that I'm going to blog about it. Not once. Not twice. But as many times as it takes me to dissect this sucker 'til there's nothing left.

So for today, we're going to take a look at the very first line: A dangerous woman is alive!

What does this mean? What does it look like for us to "live alive?" This morning I read an article over on storyline that was all about living in the present, not going numb, and choosing to be invested in all the moments of our life- the seemingly boring, hard, or painful ones included. The author talks about her friend who has gone through more than most of us will ever have to and she writes:
"She wasn’t waiting for the good part. She knows that these are the good parts, even while they’re the bad parts. She wasn’t shut down, going through the motions. She wasn’t holding tight till this season passed. She was right there with me, right there with her kids, right in all the glory and pain and mess and beauty of a spring night in between everything.That’s how I want to be. That’s who I want to be: deeply present in the present, in the mess, in the waiting, in the entirely imperfect right now."
I think that this is part of living alive. Being fully present in the mess, fully present in the boring. Not allowing our circumstances dictate whether or not we're engaged in life. Choosing to invest and feel and continue on even through the times that seem too painful to even look at.

This is what it looks like to live alive: to be so secure and safe within our Savior's arms that we can be fully present and engaged in whatever circumstances we face, whether our flesh would deem them worthy of our investment or not, safe for us to be present in or not, and exciting enough for us to be engaged or not.

I want to be a dangerous woman. I want the enemy to shudder when I wake up and the Kingdom of God to be advanced through my day. I want my life to showcase Jesus- the only one worthy of shining a spotlight on.

But for this to happen, I have to live fully alive. I can't keep choosing which moments I want to be present for and which I will just allow my brain to check out of. I can't keep going numb when hard things happen, shutting down my emotions so I don't have to feel all the things that God has put inside of me. I can't keep waiting for the next big thing to happen, just ignoring all the wonderful beautiful little things God is doing around me everyday. I have to live alive.

Check out Part 2: Grounded in Love here.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Summer of Walking in the Spirit

It's been awhile. Here's my list of excuses why: Finishing up the Dells STP. Catching up with the host fam. Wedding. Gender reveal party for my future niece. Spending time with certain lovely people. Support raising. Traveling.

Yep. It's been a busy last month. But isn't that always how summer goes? One minute you're sitting out in the sun and breeze soaking it all up and the next minute you've blinked and there's snow on the ground. Ok, well maybe it's not quite that dramatic, but really... where has the time gone?

So the Dells. [In case you feel like me and haven't had time to do anything, much less keep updated on my life, you can read this to see what I'm talking about, but in short I spent the last couple months living in the Dells helping run a Navigators' Program for 48 college students from around the region.]

This summer was unexplainable really. You may have noticed that I really didn't blog all that much during it. That's because I was out doing it. Buying groceries and making food for 60 people. Planning events and prepping talks for 48 students. Leading a study on sexual purity for 20 women who wanted change. Leading Bible Studies and helping train 10 team leaders. Being laughed at and laughing with 6 Chinese girls. Discipling and challenging 1 passionate woman of God.

It sounds like this summer was all about doing. But really it was all about being. Never have I felt more at home in a group of 50. I'm normally not the hugest fan of big groups, but this summer was different. I felt loved and affirmed, especially when I was just being myself. It was a summer of people getting to be themselves. Of people reaching out and loving and caring for each other and of people accepting that love and care in a way they never have. It was a summer of coming out of the shadows and calling our sin and fleshly desires for what they are and turning the other way and walking into the light. It was a summer of following Jesus in the little things and the big things. It was a summer of walking in the Spirit.

Romans 8 is all about living life in the Spirit. Verse 6 says that "to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace." I feel like I am so often looking for peace. And right here it tells me how to get some- set my mind on the Spirit. I feel like that was a recurring theme this summer. Anxious? Set my mind on the Spirit. Fearful? Set my mind on the Spirit. Overwhelmed? Lonely? Sad? Tempted? Bitter? Set my mind on the Spirit.

This summer was busy. It was filled with people. It was filled with activity. But when I was in the midst of it all, I was continually being called away by Jesus. Called away to spend time with my first love, to set my mind on things above. To walk in the Spirit. And when I answered that call is when I felt peace. When I took the time to spend with Him, to align my desires and will to His, that's when the summer became more about being than about doing. That's when I was able to follow Him with the little things and the big things. That's when I was able to walk by the Spirit.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

10,000 Hits.

Wow! You guys it's crazy to believe the blog is at 10,000 hits! But it's even crazier to believe what has happened in my life and the lives of those around me in the time I've been blogging. The posts you find here are a mix from at least 3 of my different blogs throughout the years... so there's lots to journey through.

Looking back at the last 4+ years of blogging I've done has been like reading a well-worn journal or perhaps going through a box of old letters and notes. I've been reminded of all that God has done in my life since the beginning of my sophomore year of college.

He has used Narnia more than once [here and here] to teach me more about himself.
He has allowed me to look back in order to look ahead.
He has been patient in His communications with me.
He has taught me about contentment, AGAIN. :)
He has shown me what's important.
He has been teaching me about brokenness. [Mine and others']

God has done SO much! And that's just a glimpse! There's plenty more to read if that all doesn't convince you! :) And I have just been along for the ride. The beautiful, unexpected, hard, but oh-so-worth-it ride!

My life is nothing like I planned and far more than I dreamed.

Let me leave you with this whimsical quote.
"There is only one invitation it would kill me to refuse, yet I'm tempted to turn it down all the time. I get the invitation every morning when I wake up to actually live a life of complete engagement, a life of whimsy, a life of love does. It doesn't come in an envelope. It's ushered in by a sunrise, the sound of a bird, or the smell of coffee drifting lazily from the kitchen. It's the invitation to actually live, to fully participate in this amazing life for one more day... I think every day God sends us an invitation to live and sometimes we forget to show up or get head-faked into thinking we haven't really been invited. But you see, we have been invited -- every day, all over again."
-Bob Goff, Love Does

Friday, July 5, 2013

Freedom Friday: Stop the Candy Shop

It's been awhile since I've done a 'Freedom Friday' but I figured what a fitting time as we just celebrated the 4th of July. Independence Day. How blessed I felt yesterday as I had the freedom to hike, get lunch at Applebees, take a nap, learn more about Human Trafficking, and watch fireworks over the lake. I felt blessed because I know there are way too many people out there who do not have that freedom, and many- millions- due to the sex slave trade.

Last night before the fireworks we watched Nefarious: Merchant of Souls. It was my third time seeing the documentary [I wrote about it here] and it still impacted me just as much as the first time seeing it. Afterwards we had a pastor and his wife here in the Dells talk to us about their experience dealing with human trafficking as they've traveled the world, as well as the trafficking that is going on right here in the Wisconsin Dells.

The night was both heart-wrenching and hopeful, as the Gospel of Christ was proclaimed and as we cried upon His power and salvation for these many souls, His precious children.

The church that we had this event at supports Stop the Candy Shop, an initiative by Street Grace Ministries, an organization out of Atlanta, GA (the 3rd top trafficking city in the WORLD, by the way) that fights against the exploitation of children in the sex trade.

I stumbled upon Stop the Candy Shop a couple years ago when they were just coming out with their film, The Candy Shop. This film is a fairytale/parable about the child sex trafficking epidemic in Atlanta and all over the world. It is dark and disturbing (how could it be anything else, based on it's topic?), but also very well done and very thought-provoking.

Here's the trailer, if you're interested. You can view the whole film here. 

Above all else, PRAY. Pray for these precious, sweet children. Pray for the johns. Pray for the pimps. Pray for hearts to be changed, justice to be served, lives to be saved, and ultimately for God's glory to be known.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Summer Bucket List

So I figured since I'm living in the Wisconsin Dells for the summer, maybe I should be intentional about how I'm spending my time. So aside from pursuing people and God, here are some other sweet things I want to pursue! 
  • Tour the Frank Lloyd Wright house
  • Go to an outdoor concert
  • Hike around Devil's Lake State Park
  • Go boating (ANY kind... canoe, kayak, speed boat, etc!)
  • Go antiquing
  • Eat at Moose Jaw, Unos, and Buffalo Phil's
  • Go to a water park
  • Road trip!
  • Go on the Lost Canyon Tour
  • Go to the drive-in theatre

Here's what I've already done that would have definitely been on my bucket list if I would have gotten around to making it sooner.

  • Ridden a motorcycle for the first time
  • Checked out and read a book from the Dells Library (I know, right?!)
  • Hiked around Mirror Lake State Park
  • Did swing dancing at Newport Beach
  • Bonfire by the lake
  • Gone for a spontaneous, fully clothed swim
  • Got Sprecher's Root Beer from the gas station
  • Went to 'Taste of the Dells'
  • Gone to Wizard Quest (twice)! 

I can't believe that my time here is already almost half over! Bring on the adventure!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up

A few of my favorite things from this week!

New sandals from civilization (aka Target... the Dells is a bit sparse for shopping)

Hammock time with the kiddos.

A magical, sparkly, and oh-so-perfect for summer manicure!

 Prepping for my Nav Night talk on Other-Centered Living at Starbucks.

Putting the snow-cone maker to good (and different) uses!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up


"Heathah Buttah"
8 oz dark chocolate almond milk
1 frozen banana
1 big spoonful peanut butter
Blend in a blender. Pour. Enjoy for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack. (Or all of the above!)

My new favorite rapper: Andy Mineo

(especially 1:50-3:00)

Romans 8:1-17
(Working on memorizing it this summer!)
1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
This really makes me want to start another art journal!
[image here.]

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