Saturday, May 25, 2013


I think this may be a summer about learning a bit more about solitude. I've had some really beautiful moments already, in which I've been able to bask in creation and soak it all up. The dock at night, hammock time, and hikes in state parks have all allowed me to just be silent (not to mention a trip to the library this afternoon!). I used to really not like solitude, silence, stillness. But I'm really beginning to appreciate them as life is continually getting busier, filled with more people, activity, and noise. 

Solitude allows me to not only be alone, but to be alone with Jesus. "Happiness only real when shared." This thought from the movie/book "Into the Wild" has struck me multiple times this week as I've experienced some incredible beauty. I have been tempted to feel lonely. I have reached out to friends, to anyone who will come experience this with me. But what I have been forgetting is that I always have my closest friend with me. I have been forgetting that yes, it may be true that happiness is only real when it's shared, but I can always share it with Jesus! 


So here's to embracing solitude this summer- to sharing my moments of wonder, awe, and happiness with Jesus.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Colorado in Photos

So as most of you know, I was in Colorado last week at The Navigators' Headquarters in Colorado Springs. I thought I would share with you some fun memories from the week through photos!

 EDGErs think alike! Without planning Monday turned out to be red/salmon/coral/pink day! 

A morning hike at the Glen proved to be not only beautiful, but also healing as well. God just seems to meet His people up in the mountains. ;)

We took a couple hour road trip in a charter bus through the mountains for our fun day, where we ended up at a beautiful frozen lake!

Many of us spent time with God during our stop at the lake. It was sunny with a slight breeze and just perfect with a jacket!

The way home lent us a beautiful sunset!

My quiet time spot one day was so peaceful and serene. I heard a loud buzzing and thought it must be a giant bumblebee but it turned out to be a cute little hummingbird!

On our last night there the staff had set up a 26-game "Minute-to-win-it" Carnival where we had to do all kinds of crazy tasks! The one that drew the most attention was this game where you put a pair of pantyhose over your face and tried to knock down the water bottles with the baseball that was in the bottom of the pantyhose. So hilarious!

Overall my third Summit was relaxing, rejuvenating, encouraging, and a great time to connect more with the Lord and friends from all over the country! Our next conference is in Florida, so I will definitely miss Colorado, but some sun and warmth will be much welcomed come mid-November!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Spotlight

These last couple weeks have been a whirlwind... Nebraska, Colorado, Minneapolis, and now the Wisconsin Dells where the Summer Training Program I am working at this summer is already in full swing. So needless to say, I have been around people. A lot. Relatives, my EDGE class of 100(ish), and now 50 college students in the Dells. And I'm not really the biggest fan of crowds.

Crowds do weird things to me. I think they do weird things to a lot of us. I'm an extrovert. But crowds tend to bring out a lot of my insecurities. You might not know it looking at me, but it's true.

I had this thought last week that we all have spotlights. And we all have a choice as to who we shine our spotlight on. We can shine our spotlight on ourselves, on others (and by doing so inadvertently ourselves), or on God.

And a lot of times in crowds I get tempted to shine my spotlight on myself. To seek attention and say "look at me world!" OR I want to shine my spotlight on anyone or anything besides myself. To go small and insecure. But this usually ends up pointing the spotlight right back at me since I'm still making it all about myself. So the spotlight doesn't end up on God then either, just all over the place.

The Bible talks about this in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

It talks about a group of Christ-followers as a body. And it depicts parts of the body that shine the spotlight everywhere else but Christ:
If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.
And it also describes parts of the body that are shining the spotlight on themselves:
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”  
Shining your spotlight anywhere else but on God is simply comparison. When you shine it on yourself, you are choosing to live in pride and attention-seeking. When you shine it on others you are living in insecurity and fear. Either way, you aren't shining your spotlight on God, and you aren't building up His body (go take a look at the whole passage).

So instead of comparing, instead of shining our spotlight all over the place, why don't we choose to shine our spotlight on Jesus today. Why don't we make our life about Him, and not us.

Monday, May 13, 2013


I'M IN COLORADO! Oh this beautiful state, how I love thee! I am once again headed to the Glen Eyrie in Colorado Springs for our semi-annual Summit Training. And although this will be my third time there, today has been a day of firsts

My very first time flying alone! It definitely helped that I was flying out of Lincoln, NE... home of the Lincoln airport with approximately four gates and one tiny, non-threatening security area. I enjoyed the tiny little puddle-jumper sitting squished next to a middle-aged man flying to Canada. When I got to the Denver airport I was surprised by its size- not quite the same as the four-gated Lincoln airport! :) BUT, I am proud to say that I figured everything out and maneuvered my way through many long hallways, down a few escalators, on a train, more hallways and escalators, and to the door where I waited for my aunt to pick me up.

I went back to my aunt's house, where I currently am waiting for a friend to pick me up to take me the rest of the way to Colorado Springs. This morning has been productive and LONG (I woke up at 5am and CO is an hour behind NE). We decided to whip up some yummy dessert and I got to enjoy my first time making baklava! It was crispy and gooey and oh so delicious! It was also super fun (if not a bit time-consuming) to make! We forgot to cut ours before baking it, so it ended up falling apart when we did end up cutting it, but I don't care! I still think it looks beautiful and it tasted delicious! Try out the recipe here.

Soon I will be headed off to the Glen where I will enjoy a week of spiritual encouragement, leadership training, and more! So I am happy to say that the day is only half over and I've gotten to experience some new things- some scary and stretching, others fun and experimental. What "firsts" have you experienced today?

Monday, May 6, 2013

I Have Made Mistakes

I have legitimately been listening to this song on repeat for the past few weeks. I love, love, LOVE the first verse... I feel like it adequately describes my life- mistakes, broken promises, doubts. But like the song goes on to say, I'm not alone in the dark with my demons-- Jesus enters in. He enters into my mess and He loves me. He teaches me, He empowers me, He strengthens me. Jesus uses the rain in our lives- the less than desirable circumstances- to grow us, to make us whole. And I am so grateful because I have made mistakes. But it's not a waste if I learn from them.

I have made mistakes, I continue to make them 
the promises I've made, I continue to break them
and all the doubts I've faced, I continue to face them 
but nothing is a waste if you learn from it

and the sun, it does not cause us to grow 

it is the rain that will strengthen your soul 
and it will make you whole

we have lived in fear, and our fear has betrayed us 

but we will overcome the apathy that has made us 
because we are not alone in the dark with our demons 
and we have made mistakes 
but we've learned from them

and the sun, it does not cause us to grow 
it is the rain that will strengthen your soul 
and it will make you whole

and oh my heart, how can I face you now? 
when we both know how badly I have let you down 
and I am afraid of all that I've built 
fading away

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