Romans 15:4-6, 13

"For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


So, apparently, professors know what they're doing when they assign homework.

I'm learning SO much from my paper on the problem of evil.

My friend gave me some amazing books.

So I guess this post is just meant to advocate doing homework.

I could never have guessed I'd learn so much. It's incredible.

God is incredible. He created our minds to learn and hold SO MUCH information. We have such a capacity to learn. *sigh* I need to start applying that now. Making a book list. :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thoughts, Lessons, Life

Please go see all my recent updates on my other blog

I have been updating there more often as of late...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Returned and Ready

Well, I have returned from my trip.

There were so many AWESOME opportunities that arose and I took advantage of. I got to make tons of new friends and began forming plans to return next summer. I am very excited for THAT opportunity especially!

I am still processing through all my thoughts and feelings so as of now, I have not posted a blog that is descriptive of my trip aside from my photo blog at

That was posted just last night and, I promise, will soon be followed up with a blog of WORDS describing my trip.

We got to interact with a BUNCH of different people and see a bunch of different ways of life in that area. It was thought provoking, encouraging, and sometimes even devastating. My heart was worked in through so many different people I probably couldn't count. God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.

Can't wait to go back. But I did miss everyone dearly. :)

Friday, June 27, 2008

missing the small ones...

It's true. I leave in 6 days. And while I am extremely excited and looking forward to all the God opportunities which are guaranteed to be provided, I'm sad, as well. I am going to miss my family and my friends. I am especially going to miss my little ones. :)

My summer joke has been that I am a single mother of 12. With all the nannying I do, they're all I talk about! I already miss the ones which I have had to say good-bye to. Even if it is temporary, it is real. These little ones are so dear to my heart and I am walking away for about 7 weeks!

Some good news is that some of these moms have asked me to come back in fall. One even had me write down my school schedule and when I'd be willing to work for her! I am so stoked!!

Brayden has been so rewarding to work with. He can sometimes be the most stubborn and the most independent of the 12 kids, but that always leads to rewards. I discipline him but then I get to talk through it with him and then love on him so he knows it's simply his choices that were not good.

His brothers are simply adorable. I don't know what I would do if I didn't get to see them anymore. Thankfully their mom has asked me to return. Love those kids.

Please be praying for my homesickness. It will be hard, I know. It is always the hardest thing for me.

6 days. :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

little blessings

God truly did bless us with children, didn't He?

This summer, I am spending most of my time babysitting. I babysit for four different families. It comes out to a total of 10 kids this summer. They are all absolutely adorable (I haven't met 2 but I'm convinced they are) and such little blessings. Huge, actually, but they themselves are little.

Today I worked with a little boy named Brayden who was absolutely wonderful. He likes to play and talk and just have fun! He showed me how fast he can go on his tricycle as well as on his scooter. He hid behind me when we had a water fight. He showed me all his Star Wars toys. Also, he told me a scene by scene synopsis of Peter Pan. This kid was awesome.

His older brother Kyle is a blast, also. Kyle started the water fight with his friend Luke; Kyle also finished the water fight once I was thoroughly soaked (because I didn't have a water gun).

All in all, it was an awesome afternoon. Brayden sat down with me to eat his snack and told me which was his favorite, what color it was, and that the ground is dirty. Really, could you ask for more?

Don't ever take people for granted. Even when they're older and can be big pains (sometimes), they are blessings. Children capture God's playful side best as far as I'm concerned. I definitely saw that in 5 little boys today. :)

Monday, May 5, 2008

my thoughts thus far

So summer started last Monday for me. Back in high school I remember it started on the same day for everyone...not so any longer. This is college. haha. Anyway, I digress.

In the few days after school ended, I did many check outs, said good-bye to many friends, and began the (unnecessarily) long process of packing up my room.

And here I am. Still packing. Right now, however, I am at work. Yes, work. I officially have two jobs: babysitting three wonderful kids and "managing" the computer lab at my school. Fun times for sure!

I have adored "my" kids so far and I find the time at the computer lab to be a mix of the dull Saturdays and the hectic weekdays. It's a nice blend, really.

This summer I have a lot going on...

1) working as much as possible for the next 7 weeks.
2) taking a trip to Southeast Asia for 3 weeks.
3) NOT getting to visit family much.
4) visiting the Johnstones.
5) working as much as possible for the two weeks after I'm back from SE Asia.
6) Begin RA training.
7) Helping run NSO (New Student Orientation) in the fall.

I will probably see my family for a total of 5 full days this summer. Man, and I thought a few weeks with them wasn't much!

This summer is going to be a huge time of growth; I have no doubt. God is going to pull me, stretch me, and push me as much as I can take. At least, in all honesty, that's what I hope for. I want to grow. I want to learn more of Him. I want to use this summer as a time to really know my God.

I have a list of about 30 books to read this summer. I have doubts about accomplishing all of that goal, but a majority should be possible. I love to read and at least one of my jobs provides the opportunity to read quite a bit.

Currently sitting on my desk here at work are "Cultureshock!" and "The Princess Bride." I am hoping most of all to read "City of God" by St. Augustine this summer. It is by far my longest book. However, there is someone at my church also hoping to read this book during summer, as well. Maybe it can be a joint effort, an encouraging task, something actually fun despite the length.

See, my true love lies in philosophy. The more I get into these college years, the more I realize how much my heart longs to study it more and more. The love of knowledge. That truly describes my....well, I can't quite think of how I want to finish that sentence.

Anyway, philosophy is my side-reading. Rest assured that no matter where I am, I probably have a book by St. Augustine within arm's length. If not, it's probably just because I am taking a short respite. For awhile I wondered if I had gotten myself into the wrong major. Then I realized: No. Philosophy can be something I study and learn each and every day while psychology is giving me the tools I need to accomplish some of my goals in life. I don't need a degree in philosophy to learn all I want to learn of it.

On a sidenote: I am really missing some of my friends. Charity and Ruth especially. It's weird being in an (almost) empty cottage. Danie has been living with me while getting things settled to be a summer RA. But aside from Danie, and heaven knows our schedules are opposite, I am alone. I am glad we have gotten this time the last week though.

Music has become an even larger part of my life since finals week started. Whenever I have pressure going on all around me, music seems to be the answer. Then it just carries over for the next couple months. I probably won't be seen without my iPod close by this summer.

God is faithful. He always provides what you need. I have been thinking of this as we have been fundraising, etc. for our trip this summer.

Speaking of our trip...only 7 weeks left!!! I can hardly believe it. It is coming all too soon. I remember signing up last November and feeling like it was a lifetime away. Hmm. Time really does move so quickly. Especially when so much is going on.

Ever notice that spring semester moves by MUCH quicker than fall? I have noticed that during both of my years here. Strange. Anyway, those are my thoughts. More to come, I'm sure.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Campus Days 2008

So today was the infamous annual event called "Campus Days" here at my beloved CBU. I have fully come to appreciate it after experiencing today. Last year I was unable to attend due to work but this year I was a captain since I am an RA in the cottages.  :) There were some great memories made on our team. It was my cottages, Joe's cottages, and Courtney's cottages. I have to say that my team was simply amazing. Thanks, guys!!

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Again, my team was awesome!! We were Dwight Schrute Army of Champions. We all wore glasses and Joe even dressed I guess in a way, he was our team mascot. We had fun playing pictionary...

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Also, we played oversized basketball...

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After that, we went on to human foosball...which was amazing...Nelson was our goalie...

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The guys also reenacted Iwo Jima...

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We didn't win...but all in all it was a great day!!! :) I just wish I could have the same team again next year :)

Love you all!! Hope you do awesome on your finals!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Isn't it funny?

I find it sometimes downright entertaining how God goes about doing things. This last semester right into this semester is one such example.

My church is very missions driven. Honestly, I love it, but at first I resisted it. I didn't see the need for me to be involved. I had friends who were so why should I have to go, also? Someone's gotta stay here, right? Ugh. Yeah..sure.

Last semester, I met a boy named Jonathan who definitely challenged me to see missions differently. I was becoming more and more open to the idea but still resisted how much my church pushes missions. Really, it's nothing over the top. It's a good amount of pushing but I was resisting like no other. Then, at school, we had a speaker named David Platt who REALLY pushed us to realize that missions is a calling and that really, nowhere is "home" except for Heaven so why are we so concerned about where we are on this earth?

So David Platt pushed me to really realize that it is a command and that, really, I had been forcing down this huge desire to go. I have a gift for learning languages, I love people, my spiritual gift is encouragement, and I want other people to know the Christ I know. I want to go places, understand cultures, spread His glory, and love on people around the world. I was finally admitting it...

Then one Sunday at church, my friend Dain spoke about his trip to Rwanda. I remember with a surprising amount of clarity how much a statement of his struck me. The dumb choice on my part was to not write what that statement was. That is frustrating to me tonight because I really wish I did. However, I have some clues. I did write the following three statements:

1) "Sidenote: I just need to sign up. God will provide. Get over my fears and obey. Funny how your biggest fears become your greatest passion."

2) "Signed up: Southeast Asia. Greatest fear: Missions."

3) "Yet another push in the right direction of what I've been struggling with..."

Anyway, whatever Dain said pushed me that very day to sign up for a missions trip that was being offered. I didn't know Dain at the time, but then, he signed up for the same trip. I've gotten to hang out with him a few times. It's funny how God uses people you don't know, allows you to know them, and then just seems to bring things full circle.

Thanks, Dain, for that last little push. God is really working through you.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Rollercoasters are awesome rides! I was scared of them until I turned 13 when I rode my first "big kids" rollercoaster with my sister in Oklahoma.

After that I was addicted but refused to ride them without her. Well, I went to Disneyland one summer with my parents, nephews, niece, and cousin. He is my age and he REALLY wanted to go on the California Adventure rollercoaster. What was I to do? I said yes and I rode it. I fell in LOVE with it!! Now I can't get enough of rollercoasters. They're my secret addiction.

Ever think about it? You ride a rollercoaster for the thrill. The adrenaline starts pumping, the screaming starts up, and it's a blast! But sometimes at first they seem so daunting.

My proposition is that life can be a rollercoaster. Sometimes they're nice and downhill and we're coasting. Sometimes they're uphill and take awhile to reach the top. And sometimes when we finally reach that summit, we plummet to the lowest point of the ride. And yet, we press on. We take heart and we keep going. Let us not forget that even when times are frustrating, sad, lonely, or overwhelming, we are not alone. Christ is right here with us and He is on this "rollercoaster" with us. Don't lose heart. Press on. You are not alone.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Brought to tears

This may seem like an out of the ordinary post...

Or just something you didn't expect...

Or maybe something you did expect. I really don't know...

Lately (about the last three weeks) Christ has really been softening my heart to Him and His word more and more. Growing up, my mom has always told me I have a soft heart to God's commands and the Holy Spirit. She says she has always seen that in me. Anyway, it has become softer.

Anytime I really sit down to spend time in God's word, I have been brought to tears by all that He has done...all that He does...all that He has promised to do in me. God's glory is so obvious in our lives but so often, in the past, I have bypassed it and never really paid much attention.

Not only has He brought me to tears multiple times in the last few weeks...He has also brought me to stand for my belief in Him. I have been fighting temptations left and right. I have never noticed how prevalent temptations are in my life!! They are everywhere! It is only by the grace of God that I walk away from them. Apart from Him I can do nothing. (John 15:6) Is that not so true?

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Getty, the 405, and the Traffic

Sometimes simple days can turn into hilarious, adventurous, and even long days. Today was one such day.

My day started around 7 AM when I got up to have breakfast with my GA. We had a great time talking; she noticed I'm much quieter in the mornings. After breakfast, I headed back to my cottage to finish drying some clothes. I slept while the dryer was going and when I woke up from my nap, it was time to go to Charity's!

I got to Charity's around 11:20ish and we talked for awhile before leaving. That was nice because I had just driven 1 1/2 hours to get there so a break from the car was just what I needed. When we left, the adventures started!!

We arrived at the Getty and parked my car. After taking the tram up to the actual museum, we made a bee line for the exhibit I was there to visit. Any paintings between 1600-1700 would work. It's for a class project and I skipped that class today to get the project done. haha.

After viewing all the portraits and paintings I needed to see, we went outside to take some pictures and wander around. We decided to go to the photography building but first, we wanted to jump across some stones in the pond between the buildings. We saw some kids do it, and they didn't get in trouble, so we figured it was a safe option. Charity hopped onto the first stone as I got my camera ready. I was setting it up to take multiple action shots in a row so that I could capture a picture of her actually jumping. Just as we were ready, the security guard came out of the closest building to tell us that we were not allowed to go across the stones. That idea was shot so we proceeded to the photography building. Ironically enough, that was the building the guard had come from.

We entered into the building to see walls of photos of Paris in the 1920s. Seeing as I am a Paris fan, I was immediately attracted to these walls. Being that they are such old photographs, they were also very small. I leaned in to look at one and I pointed to it to show Charity something when, out of nowhere, a guard comes up and tells me that I was too close to the photograph. He was sympathetic with us, acknowledging how small the photographs were. I liked him.

So we moved on after finishing up the Paris photos.  Next on the list was "The Goat Dance" room which was done by a photojournalist. He stayed with some natives from another country as they showed him their ritual for slaughtering goats. (Gross but, whatev.) The pictures went in order around the room and so Charity and I decided to make a film of her telling "the story" (that she would make up) of the Goat Dance. Just as Charity said the sentence, "...and her goat is about to be slaughtered" a security guard came up behind me and told me I was not allowed to take photographs. Oh, it's just my luck.

We finished looking around in that exhibit before heading outside. We went to lunch and then we went out to the gardens to look around and take some pictures. After we had walked around for awhile, it was time to go back to Charity's.

We had to take the 405 to get to Charity's. I was driving in the third lane, just next to the carpool lane. A van started to pass me in the carpool lane so I looked over to make sure they had plenty of room and stuff. As I looked, the guy in the passenger seat looked out at me. I started laughing because it was just weird and awkward. Well, this gentleman took that quite the wrong way. He kept staring at me even after they had passed us. He was leaning OUT his window and looking back. Somehow they got behind us again and when they passed us again, he did the same thing. This time I covered my face so he couldn't see me. As I did this, Charity announced that he was yelling to me. Creepy!!! So that was my official experience on the 405. Avoid it. At all costs.

After dropping Charity off at home, I headed back to school. I left her house at about 4:20 and arrived back here at 6:55. I guess that's what I get for driving during rush hour on a Friday. Anyway, I had a nice evening. I slept for a little over an hour, watched a movie with one of my girls, and then went to In N Out with a couple friends. When I got back, I did some short reading in a commentary on Isaiah, and then I went to sleep.

Fridays are crazy, that's all I can really say. Hope you all have a blessed weekend!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Work...class...nothing really...

So I am at work. And I was reading an intensely good introduction to a highly recommended book. If the introduction is this good, I can't wait to start the actual text. Anyway, I was a couple pages in, already wanting to highlight things, and someone comes into my work. They need me to sign them in, so I do. And then I start thinking...what if I blog today? Weird thought, I know. (Sidenote: Does that mean I'm addicted to blogging?)

So then I wonder what I would possibly blog about since my day has been uneventful. But then I thought about it and, really, my day has been very eventful! So I'm gonna share some of those events with you.

1 - I woke up. This in itself was a miracle considering I had about 4 hours of sleep. Don't ask, I couldn't fall asleep for whatever reason. Not only did I wake up, I was actually able to stand on my own two feet without falling over from exhaustion!

2 - In my 8 AM class, our class for Thursday was cancelled! All because our professor didn't want to give us the quiz scheduled and wanted us to have extra time to work on our project/a day off. I like her :)

3 - In my Intro to Stats class, we found out we still have to take an entrance exam (which we weren't supposed to have to take) but that our professor is going to just teach us the type of math which will be on the exam! (It's not stats...random, I know) So now we're reviewing in each class to prepare for an exam. It's pretty sweet.

4 - In my 11 AM class, Global Studies, my professor was speaking right to my heart. So much of what he said has been laid on my heart recently by God. It was such confirmation in many things. Also, he and I set up a time to have lunch so we can discuss seminaries! I'm so stoked!!

5 - I had a good conversation with my team leader. He gave me some good info about the Greek class here on campus which I really want to take. Honestly, I'm just sick of reading my Bible and always having to read "The original Greek word was "_______" which means "________"." It gets rather annoying. I'd rather just read it in the original language. (The New Testament, anyway)

6 - I'm now at work but I am very excited for some books that I'm going to buy. Every year, when spring semester hits, so does a reading frenzy in my heart. Haha. But really, it's true. I start reading like crazy. So I found some great books on recommendation from my philosophy professor who will also be my apologetics professor next fall.

7 - After this, I have some quick free time to relax. Later this evening I am meeting with my pastor's wife because she and I are starting a mentorship and we start this week! I honestly couldn't be more excited! :)

So that's my day so far (and later this evening) in a nutshell. All it takes to be optimistic is to look for God's blessings; they're everywhere. :)

Sunday, March 23, 2008


So this morning I woke up way before my alarm. I hate when that happens. Only because I like my sleep. But that's beside the point. I was slightly in a bad mood when I got up this morning, only because I was extremely tired. But as I started getting ready for church, I began to think about things.

Halfway through the process of getting ready, I realized that the event that this day symbolizes and represents is exactly why my faith is even possible. I kept that little thought to myself and proceeded to finish getting ready for my day.

I arrived at church and I had a truly wonderful time of fellowship. I taught the elementary age Sunday school class and then I went to the main service. Oh what sweet words were said by my pastor. He said exactly what my thought had been! He said that the event that today represents is exactly why our faith is so set apart. He said, "If Christ hasn't raised, Christianity is reduced down to every other religion whose leader is dead." Mmm. Such truth to those words! If Christ had not raised, as Paul tells us in I Corinthians 15, we should be pitied more than anyone else! If Christ had not raised, we would be buying into a bigger lie than any other religion. If Christ had not raised, we would have no hope in anything.

A few weeks ago, my friend Anthony preached at our church. He said, "I love the 'buts' of the Bible." In I Corinthians 15, Paul is making a case for how sad it would be and how horrible it would be for Christians if Christ had not raised. Then that wonderful, wonderful verse comes in, I Corinthians 15:20, "But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep."

Just think on that verse for a moment before going on.

Does it bring relief to your soul? Does it let your heart release a sigh? I know when I read this verse, I feel a sudden burden lifted off of me. I have no need to fear the reality of Christ's resurrection. Paul has confirmed it time and time again. Christ has raised from the dead. My faith is established and authentic and worthwhile. More than worthwhile. Precious.

And it is this very faith that drives my heart every time I think of what I am going to do with my life. It is this faith that presses on me again and again that Christ needs to be taken where nobody has heard His name. It is this very faith that allows me to say, "God will provide whether that be through bringing me home safe or allowing my death to be my witness to others." It is this very faith that pushes me to strive my best each day to learn more and more about my faith and my God and my desires. This faith alone.

I Corinthians 15:58 says, "Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." Today in church, we centralized on that verse. My pastor said that this verse is "a direct call for resolve and ambition." This verse should push us to be living constantly with the fact in mind that "Jesus is alive!" And that very fact should drive our decisions whether they be about money, children, family, interaction with people, involvement in church, or anything we encounter, really. If we are not living by this fact, what are we living by? Whatever is the most important thing in our lives drives our decisions. I can speak only for myself when I say I want so desperately for Jesus' conquering over death and His current life to be my driving force.

Prayer Requests:
*Team building
*Southeast Asia trip
*Perseverance in classes

Friday, March 21, 2008

Laughter is contagious

So today is Friday...tomorrow is Saturday, Sunday is Easter (yay!), and then Monday is my last day off before crunch time. I think this is the first time in my life I've EVER dreaded the weekend.

Today was, yet again, a day for baseball. Don't get me wrong, I love going. I love the game. :) So we get there (AAA team) and we're just chillin, having some fun. Stewart (48 on the Oklahoma Redhawks) was up to bat. Then two innings later, he was up again. Pretty fast to go through the whole line up but, whatev. At least they were getting hits, right? This time around, he got hit with the ball. Of course, the Padres fans were blaming him: "Did you see that? He leaned into it!" I'm sure...just like I would jump in front of an oncoming car so it would hit me...right.

So we leave after Stewart is done for the game and on the way home, aka the campground, we stop at a Fry's Marketplace to pick up some food and look for a tablecloth. None of this sounds interesting to me, so I waited in the car...with my uncle...oh yeah, and three dogs. So I'm doing my own thing, texting my friend Sarah Jane, and just sitting there.

My uncle laughs. Weird. I have NEVER heard him laugh the way he just did. In fact, I don't know if I've heard him laugh all week. Weird. But funny. Then I start giggling. But I have to keep it to myself. I can't just start laughing out loud and have to explain that I'm laughing at his laugh...but I giggled none the less. It felt good. Last night and today were slightly stressful so, laughing was a great release.

Little Life Lesson: Laughter is contagious, so laugh on. :)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Training day: I've lost track

As most of you know, I have another blog. That one is by far more structured than this will ever be...but sometimes I just have hilarious stories or just thoughts that I want to ramble about...hence the reason I have created this one...

Today is Thursday. Day...who knows...of Spring Training. I know it's been my fourth day straight at a baseball game...more games than I've ever been to in a row before. But that's beside the point.

Today was a AAA game for my family...

We were sitting in the (shaded...pansies haha) bleachers at the Mariner's field just minding our own business. Of course, I'm speaking for my whole family when I should just be speaking for myself. I was minding my own business when this kid sits down in the row behind me and over a few people-spaces.

He starts talking to the people sitting in the same row as me and at first I was completely disinterested. Then I realized, he's talking about the Rangers. (Disclaimer: I'm a Dodgers fan by inheritance and a Rangers fan by loyalty...both teams are pretty hated at CBU but whatev. Dodgers all the way!) Then I began my horrible habit of eavesdropping. Actually it's not really a habit. I normally tune people out but once you heard this kid, there was no way of tuning him out...

So he's talking about how he's been working for the Rangers for 5 or 6 years, blah blah blah. Sure, I'm sure he's interesting, has interesting stories, and has a blast, but really, he can get over himself. Shoot, I'm related to one but that doesn't mean I'm someone special. But wait, he's got some good stories as far as I can tell...maybe I'll just listen a little more.

Well something must've distracted me...I think it was my cousin coming up to bat...cuz I suddenly realize I've sat back down, the game is over, and he's leaving...weird. I can't remember a real word he's said. Oh well, maybe better luck next time.

So the game is over, I see my cousin, and I head toward him. First words out of his mouth? "Don't forget to bake those brownies!" Right. Just another reminder. I'm nobody special just cuz I'm related to one.

I'm special because God is the one who created me and I was created in His image. :) (which means you're special, too)