Friday, July 20, 2012

Off We Go!!

I may not be posting or texting for the next couple of days because me and all of the extended family are headed to Italy for a few days and then we are visiting the Gasser vacation home in the mountains! I'm not sure if there is Internet access out there and I can only use the wifi so I don't get international charges. Here are a few pictures from today's excursion to Germany to hold you off for the next week if I can't make it to a computer :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Good Morning from Switzerland!

It's not exactly morning here, really it's 3:20 in the afternoon, but I know all my friends are just walking up. It's been a productive two days here in Baar! After arriving, we immediately hit downtown Zurich to see the shops and be immersed into the local culture. We got to see some of the most expensive shops, my favorite so far being Tom Ford, and walk the cobblestone streets. This place is pretty much straight out of a postcard. Panoramic mountain views, beautiful Lake Zurich, and the sound of ringing cow bells surround us. The food has been beyond great and I have some new dishes I want to try out at home. And of course, they serve wine with all their meals, so I can't complain!

Last night we watched as the sun went down and lit up the mountains and visited the old city of Zug. The old feel of the buildings and the little shops and outdoor cafes along the lake were so charming, and paired with couples romancing each other it was what my new friend Nicoletta would call, "So kitch!" (Cheesy/corny/over the top)

Today we made the scenic drive out to a convent/cathedral with some of the most ornate decorations I've ever seen! They even had their own stable where we got to pet some horses. :) We ended up enjoying lunch at a little cafe/bakery called Cafe Tulipan. We ordered these very light pizzas with a long German name that I can't remember anymore. I do remember though that they were fantastic and completely un-American.

It's my uncle Caeb's birthday today so we're throwing a big party with lots of friends and plenty of food and drink. Can't wait to update everyone on more happenings! Btw, is it just me or does anyone else start thinking in the only other foreign language they know when people are speaking a different language around? I've been thinking in French for two days but they speak Swiss German in our area. Maybe I'm just weird, though I think that's already been established :)

Till tomorrow,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Demain, Etats-Unis!

Well kids, this is it. My very last day in the country before taking off for a 3-week tour of Switzerland. Thanks to family, my short escape to Florida has been nothing short of wonderfully relaxing. They may feel bad for making me sleep on couches for the past three days, but they don't know what a professional couch sleeper I am. Sl fam, if you're reading this, no worries! I very much enjoyed your couches :).

Now I'm sure I'm aggrandizing this flight out to Europe, what with my need to be fashion forward the minute I step off the plane, but regardless, I've only ever been on a flight out of the country once before and that was just to Mexico from Colorado. So I think I'm allowed to be overly excited this time around! Getting everything ready to go was super easy. The bank flagged my account without making me jump through any hoops and CVS transferred my prescription even though it has already been filled back home. Everything is packed up and ready for me to take on the plane. But now the hardest part has arrived: waiting on the flight to get here! It's only 11am here in St. Pete and I'm already totally prepared to hit the ground running. I suppose that's what happens when you wake up at 7:30 in the morning though.

So wish me luck as we take flight for what is sure to be the best three week vacation of my life!! I'll miss all my lovely friends while I'm gone. Plenty of pictures to come :)

A Demain (till tomorrow),

Friday, July 13, 2012

Travel Time!

Hi kids! Please visit this site to keep updated with my journey through Europe with my family for the next four weeks. I'm flying out to Florida to stay with my Gram tomorrow morning (it's past my bedtime, but I can't sleep), and we're flying out for Switzerland on July 17. This is where I'll be posting all things travel related, along with some of the most epic pictures of the day. If I randomly stop posting, someone call Liam Neeson because I've probably been taken. Or don't. I'm probably just being lazy. Sorry. 

So bookmark this site, or add it to your homepage or whatever you do to internet stalk people. (Don't deny it, we all do it.) 

Until we meet again,

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Ok. So I haven't written for a couple of weeks, and here's the thing. It's late. I just worked one of the most annoying shifts since being hired last fall (people can be so difficult), and for the past approx. hour, maybe (probably) longer, I've had the incredible misfortune of overhearing the drunken therapy session happening outside my bedroom window. But me being me, thankfully my half-asleep brain decided to make the best of the situation by reminding me at least my life doesn't suck as bad as the people's outside my window. And as far as this post goes, I may as well write since I'm surely not getting any sleep.

Here are the situations.

1. The Damaged Girl.
You know her. The girl with daddy issues and the bad stepmom, the one who sleeps around and talks about it loudly in public rather shamelessly, the one who is way too young to be at this party and throwing her life away by dropping out of school. She's lost her drive. She talks a lot, seeks pity, but acts tough. And I probably feel worst for her of all the people she's around right now. Why? Because I know what she could have. I have it. Not to sound snoody or anything, I just chalk it up to making halfway decent life choices and realizing I have baggage, but choosing to actually face it and deal with it and forgive myself and others for it rather than repress it with sex, drugs, and alcohol only to have it rear its ugly head at the least opportune moment. I have to admit that I've been blessed. My family is in tact, which is a miracle in and of itself these days, and despite what my parents say, we don't struggle financially. I haven't made it through life without my own battle wounds though. I deal with abandonment issues as a result of being adopted, I've had heartbreak, I've felt like a failure and I've been told I'm not good enough. But here's the thing: I'm not giving up. I'm still fighting to prove that I can follow my dreams, that I am worth it. I'm not giving in to normality. I want to live to be abnormal. Extraordinary. There are millions of people being average everyday, and it scares the crap out of me to be one of them. Despite the hardships I have seen and will face, I won't be the damaged girl. I won't give up.

2. The Weepy Drunk
"After my boyfriend broke up with me, for like 15 minutes this butterfly landed on my arm and just stayed there and I knew that it was my grandpa telling me I could get through this." Ok. Listen. I understand you're inebriated, but sweetie, death doesn't work that way. And right now, I'm just thankful that I am in right enough mind to understand that. And please, stop yelling. It's 2am. I have to be awake in 6 hours. Young America, your walls are too thin. (This was really more of a rant than a revelation, sorry.)

3. The F-Bomb Dropper
In case you were wondering, sir, this is not Nagasaki. Quit dropping bombs. Right here in this situation I am thankful for a diverse vocabulary. In the case of this rather profane sir outside my window, I would enjoy indulging in other loquacious terms to contrive the perfect word picture. Yeah, take that, f-bomb dropper. You probably needed to Google a few of those words. And you're welcome. Now you have something slightly more elaborate for your next adventure in sentence formation.

Ok, so that first point was all nice and fluffy and wonderful and motivating. Sorry those last two were mainly rants about how annoying it is to live with a window right next to the steps at this apartment. If you live here and you're reading this, it's not you (well, at least I don't think it was...). I like you guys, I really do. But seriously, keep it classy. Or at least let's try for one step up next time. Maybe not so much weed right outside my window. My room reeks. Yeah, that'd be nice.

Alright, till next time (and I'll try to not let it go so long in between my next posts) (seriously this time),

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hey Monday

Oh my gosh. I realize I have been quite absent over the past couple of weeks and I am so sorry! Things got super crazy with finals and work and packing up my old apartment and shoving everything into my little car and moving it all into my new apartment and going on a mini vacation to Grand Haven, Michigan. But now I am happily settled into my new place, enjoying its many quirks (to put it nicely), and making friends with all my new neighbors, so I can finally get back to writing! Yay!

First of all, my apartment. You guys. It's an experience. Day one of living here the neighbors saw me shut my door and then immediately started pounding and singing carols to me to coax me out to party with them. Little did they know, there was no way I was getting out of bed after working all morning, moving all afternoon, and dancing all night at Amy and Luke's wedding (which was amazing). I was exhausted, it was midnight, and I just wanted to crack open my book and drift off into hazy dream land. Sorry, guys. It wasn't you, it was me. So naturally I couldn't turn them down on night two. Turns out everyone is pretty great. And we're getting a "house" puppy. You have no idea how excited I am to welcome that little ball of fur into our "family". (Literally a ball of fur. It's a husky!) But aside from the perks, there were some interesting quirks to the place. For one, as soon as I turned on the living room light, a bulb started flickering in a very horror movie-esque fashion. Creepy at night, especially when you're the only one in the apartment. Two, the first shower I tried to take probably took about 10 minutes longer than usual because I couldn't tell if I got all the shampoo out of my hair and the stream of water barely reached my body. Seriously, we had like, zero water pressure. Rough for a girl with really thick curly hair. Third, there were bugs EVERYWHERE. Centipedes in the bedrooms, ants in the kitchen, a giant ant crawling up my arm (yes, I did squeal and almost die). But after spraying the place down with our trusty cleaning supplies (probably not actually intended to kill bugs, but this is college and you have to be resourceful), I haven't found anything creepy crawling up any more of my limbs. :)

So ok, once everything was settled in and I was getting ready to leave for Michigan for the weekend, guess what I did. Seriously guess. No? Ok, I lost my darn phone. My pretty much still brand new iPhone. And I'm about 90% sure it just grew legs and walked away because it's nowhere to be found, and it has to be somewhere in this apartment. (My money is on the ants...) Thankfully my wise old mother (not to insinuate that you're old mom......) told me I should keep my old phone instead of giving it to the nice Verizon man to recycle just in case something happened to my new one. So after over half an hour on the phone with customer service, I am with a phone. It's a total junker, but it sends texts and it makes phone calls, which is good enough for me! But I am on a continual manhunt for my iPhone because I miss unblock me.....yes really, I miss my puzzle app. Haters is gonna hate.

Once my old/new phone was sufficiently active, my old roommate Kristin picked me up from my new place and we were headed to Michigan for a weekend of fun at the beach and seeing our old friends. The drive up was really great. Polar pops, 90s playlist (thanks, Spotify!), and pretty much no major traffic. Once we got to Em's, we prettied ourselves up for girls night out. This is where things get good. So we go to this bar on the corner called Kirby. It has three levels, which coincidentally correspond with the ages of the people in attendance. The top level is for those of the middle ages. Like, your parents' age. Street level was those in between their clubbing phase and their top level phase of life. You know, still trying to cling onto their youth by dancing around in front of the live cover band like this is spring break gone wrong? Yeah. That age. Now that left the three of us with the lower level, also called the Dark Room. Sounds pretty ominous, right? Yeah. Should've headed that warning. So we get downstairs and the first thing we see is lasers. Laser lights everywhere. I had to remind myself that I was in small town, coastal Michigan. However, the people in attendance really made for a great combination with the ambiance. It was like people who were either out of college or who decided higher education was not their forte, who are trying WAY too hard to "liv it up!" like their still in college. The dj was good, so at least the place had that going for it. Mostly though, it was a hot mess. People dancing on each other like it was a bad high school homecoming, people way too old to be drunk out of their minds, drunk out of their minds, and men with cheesy pick up lines trying to get you to go home with them. Yikes. Not my scene. I'm far more of a pub girl than a club girl. Like, the HIMYM (how I met your mother) bar, McClaren's. A place you can have an actual conversation with a person, the atmosphere is nice, and the alcohol is like a bonus. But despite the dismal start, the weekend quickly picked up when we decided to spend the day at the beach on Saturday. It was hot, but armed with a good book, a few gossip magazines, and Lake Michigan, we were prepared for a good time. Turns out if you're white, you should wear sunblock even if it's only May and the UV rays aren't that intense yet. We got so sunburned. Like, crispy burned. Like an entire day's worth of applying aloe still hasn't really calmed it down. Whatever though. My mother always said beauty is painful and after a couple of days, my shoulders will have a nice golden tan to them, thanks to the 1/4 of me that's Mexican. We ate the local grub, numbed our legs in the cold waters of the lake, and had the awkward moment of seeing our bartender from the night before who sucked and thus also who we didn't tip well. Successful weekend if I do say so myself.

Well, I think that's sufficient for now. Feel updated enough on my life? I hope so. Otherwise I may have to call you out on a stalking problem...

Ta-ta for now!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ya Dig?

Do you ever have those moments when you see something and you're like, "Oh, I have to have that!"? Yeah? Me too. There are a few things out in the world of fashion that I've been seriously diggin on that I want in  my wardrobe so I can wear them every day! So I thought I'd share them with you all, and hopefully I've found some things you love too! Let me know what you think. :)

First of all, this trend of floral pants is way up on the top of my "to buy" list. I mean really, how stinkin' adorable are these?!

Seriously. And then I want to pair them with something like these:
For the blouse, I would definitely roll the sleeves and tuck the front into the pants, possibly to show off a cute belt!
I'm also seriously loving fun colored blazers, like hot pink and purple and cobalt blue. And the hair in that picture? So much love!! I wish so dearly that I hadn't chopped all mine off so I could dye it like that! Also, I'm totally into everything of the modern flower child genre of clothing. Flowy maxi skirts, crochet tops, head wraps, and feather designs on shirts and accessories. Given, I was pretty much raised by repressed hippies, so this is probably just a product of my youth finally expressing itself. Man, can you tell I'm a psych major? :)

I'm also totally into birds. Maybe not so much the actual animal, but their silhouettes. I enjoy a good mural painting session, and I'm thinking about painting a few around my room when I move into my new apartment. Something along the lines of this:

I love birds on necklaces and as a print for tops as well. They can be a really fun, quirky addition to a more subtle outfit.

Share with me what you're loving this season!!

Peace and love,

Confessions of a Self-Proclaimed Introvert

So you're probably wondering when the confessional takes place, and to that I must say, "Hold your horses! Almost there." Because surely, it was the snazzy title I fashioned that brought you here today. But first, you need briefing on why this post is even coming into existence.

So recently, I've had a lot of work to do, which really means I've had a lot of procrastinating happening. Most would procrastinate by, say, visiting friends, watching tv, or perusing the internet for new cat videos. Me? No, I can't be tied down to the absolute normalcy of those various forms of procrastination! Instead, I tend to do a lot of introspection, which is really just a big, fancy word for literally thinking about myself. Soul-searching, if you will. Well, my friends, some of the things I have begun to realize about myself surprised me. Which, really, is quite sad. Ah, the life of a psychology major...always trying to figure people out.

Ok, the part you've been anticipating like Christmas morning (exaggeration? perhaps.).

Things I've realized about myself during the last 12 hours of intensive procrastination:

1. If I have free time, I will fill it with something. Anything. I cannot simply do nothing. Though I suppose I shouldn't say I will fill that time with "anything," because just today I had about 5 hours to work on projects, but instead I decided to go see and movie and take a quick, dearly needed nap (rough night. a different train went by about every hour, blaring its horn, reawakening me from my already restless slumber). I've never been one to just do nothing. My whole life has been scheduled to the minute, starting when I was about 5 years old. School, dance class, soccer practice, home, dinner, bath, bed. Yes, that was my schedule of activities as a 5 year old. And it never did cease. Thinking back to high school, I don't even know how I'm still alive and functioning. I had class for 7 hours a day, then rehearsal of some kind for at least 2 hours, either work or dance class after that, and typically about 5 hours of homework per night on top of that. That's approximately 18 hours of the day jam-packed with things. Rough.

2. Settling down scares the piss out of me. I used to have this mindset of go to college, meet a man, marry by graduation, settle in somewhere not too far from home, kids by 26, two dogs, white picket fence, the whole nine yards. But now, that seriously makes my stomach tie in knots. I've never wanted to explore more in my life than right now. I want to get away from comfort and experience this world we've been blessed with. I want to move far away and start living. Travel. Go on adventures. Meet people. Experience cultures. Funny, how you think you know exactly what you want when you're so young, only to find out its what scares you almost more than anything. Maybe it's fear of commitment. Maybe it's just my form of repressed teenage rebellion finally leaking its way out drop by drop into consciousness. Whatever it is, I know it's not time for me to settle. There's too much life to live to risk wasting while I'm still able. Also, it really is hilarious that it's only after you've come to this determination that your friends try to set you up with guys. (Sorry, those of you who have requested a date. I don't date. I relationship. [Yeah, I turned it into a verb.] So no, I guess I'm not afraid of committing, I'm afraid of commitment holding me back, which is exactly what starting a relationship a year before I graduate and move on from this place would do.) (Also, sorry if that sounded snarky. That wasn't my intention.)

3. I've begun to realize the sheer finite-ness of our existence on this planet, and it's made me appreciate the relationships I have that much more. I'm realizing how much more we should tell people we love them and how we should revel in sharing stories with each other. It's really a bit trite, but there's real truth behind the newly-popular acronym, YOLO. You only live once. Live hard, love harder, share your story with someone, because who knows when the battery on your clock will run out.

Well, that's it. Disclaimer: I swear I was not on any sort of substance, other than caffeine, while I was thinking these thoughts. Sometimes I just get extra caught in the net of thoughts in my mind.

Hope you found what you came here for.

Peace and love,

Monday, April 30, 2012

Movie and Music Monday Recs

Hey all! So I'm thinking of starting a new thing with this blog called Movie and Music Monday Recs where I recommend some of the new things I'm digging in the worlds of cinema and sound. Got a suggestion? Leave it in the comment box! I'm always up for hearing about new things, and if I really like a suggestion, I'll post it for the following week's recommendations.

I can't imagine going a day without listening to music. Recently, I've really been into Fleet Foxes's self-titled album from 2008. It's great if you're looking for something to relax to. Their sound is something rather unique with folky vocals and acoustic guitar led instrumentals, combining two and three part harmonies. Songs like Sun It Rises will bring out your inner flower child, but in a modernized way. Others, like White Winter Hymnal and Ragged Wood, will make you want to go on a countryside drive with the windows down while the summer breeze billows through your hair. Check out their album on iTunes here.

Alright. Well, I'm about to head out to check out a movie I have high hopes for recommending for next week! Until then, hope you have a great day!

Love always,

Thursday, April 26, 2012


So, after months of being so busy I could barely breathe without having to put it on a schedule, I'm back! And I have news.

Even in the midst of writing this post, I can't decide how I want to put this. The news is rather bittersweet, as are most decisions, but what it really comes down to is flexibility. I'll start at about the midway point, where commitments were made.

As those of you who know me knew, I planned on spending about a week and a half this summer over in Nairobi, Kenya working with kids in a VBS camp. The trip would be from July 26-August 6, perfect timing to save lots of money from working over the summer and not too close to going back to classes. And we would be working with kiddos around the ages of 6-12, which is my favorite age. And if that wasn't enough, we would be going on a safari and maybe even helping break ground at a new site for a church and school. Sounds amazing, right? I thought so too. (Not to say I don't think this will still be amazing. Just realized that sounded weird.)

Also on the agenda this summer was a trip to visit my grandma. We (my family) weren't too sure of when, but figured it would be after she headed back to Florida after my little brother's graduation in late May/early June. Obviously, this posed no conflict with the Kenya trip, and I would be getting to spend some actual quality time with relatives in an attempt to restore the bond as family. (As my dad says, "the farther away you are, the more you just become relatives. When you actually live life around each other, know what each other enjoys and dislikes, spend holidays together, come over just because you missed seeing each other, that's family.") Needless to say, I was super excited about the looming summer, and was trying to not let the summeritis get the best of me while I finished up my last couple months of school.

As time went on, I eagerly attended Kenya team meetings, growing in excitement with every new lesson we learned. The biggest point stressed to us during those meetings continued to be: whatever happens, just be flexible. I didn't think anything of it. I'm pretty good at going with the flow of things. I didn't realize what a warning that would be to me in the next couple of weeks as every plan I had for my summer was tossed out the window.

Thankfully when I got the phone call from my dad it was a Sunday night, just after I got home from Fuel (weekly church service, for those of you who didn't know), and was in high spirits. He called to tell me that the trip to visit my grandma had been changed because family from Switzerland wanted to fly us out to spend time with them, and the only dates that worked were July 17-August 3.


Right in the middle of the Kenya trip.

Obviously my dad told me that I needed to make a decision soon because they, my Swiss family, needed to secure our airfare. Seriously? I have like, five days to make this decision? This is huge! Either way, I'm going to be letting a group of people down, whether that is my Kenya team or my family. So, as most girls do, I immediately called my best friend to talk/cry/desperately try to reach a decision. She told me to pray about it and above all else, go with my heart. I think even then I knew what I really wanted to do, but I couldn't lessen some of the other variables at play. After an extreme list of mental pros and cons, I remembered that I had no idea if I could even drop the Kenya trip if I wanted/needed. So I stumbled over to my computer, shot an email to my team leader, sat down and talked to our Fuel pastor, and found out that there is legitimately room for one person to drop out of the trip.


So I thought about it some more, prayed about it, had a small army of friends praying for me as well, and when my dad called me right in the middle of small group yesterday, I picked up and told him I'd call him back.

Got you. :)

But really, after I called my dad back, I told him to tell grandma I'm going with her. I knew I had to go with my gut, and my gut told me to build my relationship with my grandma. Factors contributing to this decision: she's not getting any younger or moving any closer so I should try to get to know her as best as I can while I still have the time, no matter where I go, God will use me right where I am, my family approves of this trip while they were not very willing to hand over my passport for Kenya, and I want to honor my parents' wishes while I'm still technically living under their provision, I will probably never have another opportunity to visit my family in Switzerland, all expenses paid, I can go on another trip to Africa, whatever money I had earned for my trip to Kenya will be split among the rest of the team, edging them each closer to their goal, I will probably not go on another trip with that exact team of people, but I will be spending the entire school year with them, and we can share our stories when we all get back, nobody is going to Europe on a mission trip, and while ok, technically this isn't a mission trip, everywhere you go as a Christian is your mission field, and I plan on taking that to heart and making it obvious through my actions that this is what a Christian life looks like.

So really, that word flexibility had a lot more meaning behind it when I heard it about a month ago than I believed it would. God calls us all to be flexible. Sometimes, we think our timing is right, when really it's not. I do believe I should spend some time in Africa, but right now is just not that time. I also pray that my Kenya teammates can be flexible and understand my reason for pulling out of this trip. I hope that they don't take it personally, because I dearly care for each of them, and I know that God has big things planned for them all. I can't wait to come back from this experience and be able to share with my teammates how God was working through me and my family while He was working through them with the kids down in Nairobi.

Well, that's my story. I hope the meaning of flexibility is something that I continue to grown in, learning selflessness and becoming a more attuned listener. Hope you got something out of reading this, as always with anything I write. :)

Love always,

P.s. I got confirmation this morning that this trip with my family is exactly where I need to be, since I'll have the opportunity to talk to a couple family members who have been burned by Christians before. It'll be two and a half weeks of me showing them what it REALLY looks like to be a Christian: loving and caring and pretty normal. So really, that's what I need prayer for; to live an upstanding life while on this trip and to be a great example to my family so they can see that just because one person or one church wrote them off or wronged them, that's not God's heart for them. Thanks!!! :))

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Trust Worthy

Maybe you're wondering why I separated those two words which seemingly easily make a much better compound word when combined. Well kids, here's the story.

It was January 13th and it was the first night of our leadership team advance; a time and place where we, as a leadership team at our college ministry, are able to get to know each other a bit better, pray for the semester ahead of us, be fed through our pastors' teachings, and plan out our semester small groups or outreach events. We had just finished a rather great night of prayer and teaching and worship when it was announced that 2nd semester leaders who weren't on the team 1st semester (that's me) could sign up for a small missions team to head down to Kenya this summer for a couple of weeks. At this my heart leaped and skipped a beat at the same time. It had been close to a year that Africa was on my heart--I knew I needed to be on that trip. So naturally, I put my name down on the "interested" list. I went home, praised God for the opportunity, and rested.

The next day we had more teaching, prayer, and planning. Before we broke off into house kids and small group leaders though we had a small amount of time for the Kenya kids to meet and discuss just a little more what would be necessary to go on the trip. Things like a passport, a willing heart, and $2,000. And that's when I got scared. As a girl who struggles to make ends meet every month with rent and groceries, the thought of finding $2,000 was staggering. But I knew if God had called me to this, He would provide. I trusted His word and I found solace in knowing I would be taken care of.

I started this blog in hopes that by attaching my paypal account to it and adding a little "donate" button at the top of the page, people would be moved by the story and want to give to my cause. It didn't take long for me to realize that wasn't the case. Surely I'm excited that people are continuing to read and be updated and here my stories, don't get me wrong, but the fact that not a single person had given a single dollar was disheartening. And haven't had any donations yet. Not one person has opened up their wallet on this blog. Which lead me to begin to doubt. Was God really going to provide for me? I hadn't seen any sign of it yet, especially since my parents are so much against supporting me and restricted me from sending support letters to any of my family, whether they would be willing to give or not. I didn't know where to turn. I thought about donating plasma or picking up babysitting where I could on top of my other job, or picking up any leftover shifts at Barnes and Noble, or even selling my old ipod or clothes or computer. With my school schedule, work schedule, and leadership meetings I wasn't able to pick up any available shifts at work. None of the families I've babysat for before got back to me. I don't have the right forms of identification with me to donate plasma. I was stuck. I figured I may as well just tell them I can't go.

But then I decided to pray instead. I prayed a desperate prayer. God, I need a miracle here. I have no money, I really don't even think I'll have enough for rent at the end of the month, and I have no idea how I'm going to come across $250 extra by this Tuesday. God I need you to provide. You're my only hope.

And He did.

My miracle went to coffee with me tonight, neither or us aware of what was in store, and after hearing about how I had no idea how I was going to find the money she wrote me a check for $250. Never having experienced this kind of generosity towards myself I looked at her and told her to stop writing. She didn't have to do this for me. But she insisted. "I have the money, you need it. It's that simple. Here." With tears forming in my eyes I took her check. "Just don't cash it tomorrow. I'll need to move a little money around." (Which obviously won't be a problem since banks aren't open on Sundays anyway.) I never expected my miracle to be so close all along. Of course, there's still about $1750 to go, but she assured me it'll be nothing for God and I'll find it no problem.

So what's the take-away here? How about this: God is absolutely worthy of our complete trust. And that is why there is a space up there in the title. Because I think it's important to distinguish the two words. If God can provide $250 from a student in one night, just imagine what He can do with all of your reading this. (Well, I suppose I shouldn't assume there are tons of you reading this. Statistically, it's probably about 10 or 11 of you.) But I digress. If you want to be a part of this story in funding my trip, please don't hesitate to click the donate button at the top. If you're not feeling donating and rather believe you need to be a part in partnering in prayer, that's fantastic as well. But no matter what, be faithful in prayer and continue to listen as God tells you how you can help (anywhere, not necessarily just here).

Blessings loves,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I hit my first 100 views today guys!! I was really excited about it. But that's not the most excited thing that happened today.

My co-leader, Chloe, and I had our first small group of the semester tonight and it was absolutely fantastic!! We were nervous we would get girls who were afraid to get personal and disclose anything about their lives, but boy were we wrong to worry. We have some really great girls with unique personalities who are all meeting at a common goal: to grow deeper with God and learn more about His heart for each of us and to be more in tune with His voice each day. They came up with some great goals for our group and expectations for us as leaders. They were all warm and inviting and I just can't wait for next week when I get to meet more of them and get to know the ones who came tonight better. It's going to be a fantastic semester and I am just praising God for bringing such wonderful people into my life. :)

Also, if you know anything about my friends, SO MANY BABIES!!! Seriously. Little blessings being brought into the world everywhere! And I love it. :)

In short, it's been a good day even though I had my least favorite and most frustrating class and work was rather rough and I'm running on almost zero hours of sleep. And I'm excited. (wink wink small group girls.)

Have a blessed day! (what's left of it!)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


This probably happens to me at least once a day. I'll, for whatever reason, get a single line of a song I may or may not have been listening to early in the day stuck in my head for at least the rest of the day, if not the following day as well, or until the next line from the next song gets stuck there. Today's line is from Waiting Here For You and it started when I was having my favorite thinking time--in the shower.

First of all, who doesn't love that time when the water is really hot and you can just stand under it and think? It's one of my favorite things. This will tie in later, promise I'm not just being weird and probably giving you TMI. Second, the line of the song that was and has been stuck in my head since about 9am today is this: "You're the Lord of all creation and still You know my heart." Wowza, right? Those are some seriously powerful words right there. Think about it, and not in your shower, you'll get electrocuted or kill your phone/computer/whatever you're reading this on. The God who created the Universe and all the things in it from the most subatomic of particles to the tallest mountains and everything in between knows your heart. He knows your desires, your fears, the things you love most, things that have broken your heart, and here's the best part: He cares.

Even in the smallest ways, think of how God cares about you. How have you been blessed? I know I am as I sit in a chair in my apartment kitchen, watching the pot on the stove begin to boil so I can cook some mac n cheese because God chose me to live in this country with abundant clean water, something so many people other places in the world go without on a daily basis, He provided me with a family that is willing to help me pay for a place to live so I can afford healthy groceries, gas, and activities with friends (all of whom/which are blessings themselves). I could write for days, months, or probably more accurately years on how I've been blessed and in the faithfulness of God. But that's not all I heard in the lyrics that are still, really, stuck in my head.

I think I decided to write about grace and blessings because underneath it all, that line was telling me something more. That line, "Still You know my heart," my heart that I store anger in, that finds worth in things, that messes up on a daily basis, was a gut check. I am ungrateful daily for things I am beyond blessed by. I take for granted people God has blessed me with all the time. God knows how filthy my heart is, how stuffed up and clogged with unrighteousness, and yet He continues to bless me. God loves me so much that despite what I do, He loves me. It's an unconditional love none of us can begin to fathom because we aren't capable of it. And that's not to say we shouldn't strive to love that way because we'll never be perfect. The goal isn't perfection. The goal is grace.

Before I head out, I do have one request for everyone who reads this. I'm leading a small group for some sure-to-be awesome ladies this semester and we're having our first meeting tomorrow night! My co-leader, Chloe, and I are super excited to meet all our girls and find out a little more about each of them and begin to pour into their lives and have them teach us along the way as well. I would so greatly appreciate it if you could  take a little time and pray for us as leaders and our girls--that we can provide a place where they don't feel they need to be guarded and speak only truth, and that the girls would have open and receptive hearts to what God is trying to speak to them.

Thanks all and much love!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Get Off Your...

I know it's been a couple of days, which is basically an eternity for me not posting, but I was home without my computer for the weekend so I couldn't post any updates, nor did I really have anything profound until today! I have news about the ministry we'll be partnering with down in Kenya!!! Yay!

We will be partnering with GOYA ministries in Nairobi, Kenya. Here we'll be working with the children mostly, especially the ones whose homes were just destroy in a bulldozing mission in the Mitumba Slum. To read more about the Mitumba tragedy, click on the word GOYA above.

GOYA ministries has many goals they would like to accomplish, but their priorities lie in a few main areas--providing a salary for 5 school teachers, school supplies and book, uniforms and shoes, creating a locally sustainable water filtration source, providing nourishing food to children who would otherwise not eat, addressing the most basic medical needs of the community like vitamins and cough syrup, and to develop necessary and appropriate sanitation systems.

From the GOYA website: GOYA is a non profit and non governmental organization dedicated to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, raising awareness for social injustice, as well as raising and investing financial, physical, and human resources in the Mitumba slum in Nairobi, Kenya. We are currently partnered with Highpointe Community Church, Eastview Christian Church, and REM Ministries but we desire to work with individuals and organizations regardless of their beliefs. Our goal is to provide a place for spiritual encouragement, accountability, and education, as well as providing for physical needs such as nutrition, hygiene, medical treatment, and infrastructure that encourages localized self-sustainability and a future of hope in the Mitumba Slum.

From their website you can learn more about different opportunities to get involved in helping GOYA with their efforts in Nairobi. You can also learn some surprising statistics about life in Kenya and read the latest news from the team there.

Getting excited! Only 187 days until we leave!
Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I got a sticker when I was at Passion just earlier this month from a prayer card that said, "UNSHAKEN" with the verse Romans 8:31 underneath it. I'd heard the verse before and sang it quite a few times during Our God, but I never realized how it would apply to me until I called home to tell my family about this trip. Turns out my family is very much against me going, which is going to make it that much more difficult to get there. Their lack of faith in the provision of God has caused me to not be able to send support letters to the rest of my family, which feels a lot like cutting of one of my legs to stand on. Because all I've heard is how this trip is another irresponsible waste of money and asking for donations is completely inappropriate, I started to wonder just how I was going to be able to go on this trip at all. Which is where the sticker comes in.

Romans 8:31-32 "What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won't he also give us everything else?"

Turns out the support I needed most at that moment was a glance at that sticker--a reminder that with faith in God nothing is impossible. I still need to find a way to make $250 by the 31st, but I know I'll find a way or people will start to open up their own pockets for my sake. Please continue to pray for me and the team heading down for renewed spirits when we're feeling defeated and for serious faith that God will provide because we're doing His good work.

Love y'all,

More Ways to Follow!

Here's a link to follow my blog with Bloglovin as well. You can get updates from my blog to the bloglovin app on your android or iphone and to a Google Chrome app for your broswer too!

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God Doesn't Speak English

This is a post that's been awhile in the making. It's about something I heard while attending the Passion 2012 conference in Atlanta, Georgia alongside 43,000 other college students. It was Wednesday night during worship lead by Chris Tomlin after an incredible message by Francis Chan and we began singing How Great Is Our God. Chris was joined on stage by a few of his friends from around the globe to sing along in their native tongues. If I remember correctly I think there was Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, English, and Swahili. And it was the most amazing experience of worship I've ever encountered and I believe it's because that is that it will be like in heaven. Louie Giglio was speaking after that song had finished and he said something that for whatever reason, I hadn't thought of before, that God doesn't speak English, He speaks World. He understands every language and loves being worshiped in every tongue. 

As stated in Philippians 2:9-11, "Therefore God elevated him tot he place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knew should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father." How could this be if God only listened to or spoke English? Heaven is full of praise coming from all nations and all different languages. I think these videos, the world version of How Great Is Our God and one of kids from Mitumba, Nairobi, Kenya are just a small glimpse of the splendorous worship in heaven. Enjoy them. :)

Hakuna Mungu Kama Wewe (There is no God like You),

What a Difference a Day Makes

It's really amazing to see the confirmation God has been showing me the past couple of days after switching directions from pre med to simply psychology and pursuing a master's in public health instead. I dropped my pre med classes and picked up classes focusing more on international topics with more of a global scope. If you read my first post you would know that I intend to work with the World Health Organization and aid in the rehabilitation of victims of human trafficking. Well, in class yesterday it was revealed that we would be spending at least a whole day talking about human trafficking as a global social issue and today in my morning class we learned that we have a group project on an organization incorporating international psychology and one of the examples my professor gave was the W.H.O. Crazy!! It's always scary at first taking a step out in faith, but it's so rewarding every time you hear God say, "You're doing the right thing. Keep going!"

I hope this post finds you all well. Thanks for staying updated and hope you all have wonderful days!


The Power of Social Networking

I should be asleep right now considering I have to be awake again for class in just under 6 hours, but I am just too excited for discovering what a blessing social networking is! Mostly I've considered social networking, i.e. facebook, twitter, blogger, pinterest, etc. to be mostly for wasting time and creeping people I haven't seen since high school. (Be honest, you do it too.) However after praying for funds for Kenya tonight, my eyes were opened into just how wonderful social networking can potentially be! It wasn't until tonight that I realized how much information can be spread and how far through the internet and all the beautiful people using it. Since I have a blog, and a facebook, and a twitter, and a pinterest, I figured, heck, let's see if people will blow my mind and give to this trip even though they may not know me, or at least agree to pray for me and the team as we prepare to head down this July. So I sent out a tweet, linked it to facebook, and created a pin for my travel board on Pinterest with a bit of detail about the trip and a link to my blog so if people feel called to, they can donate to the trip. Little did I know of just how God would be working through the internet. After being up for mere minutes the pin got repinned onto a board titled Heroes. I cried. Really. Never in my life have I been so humbled. There is no way I deserve to be called a hero. I'm merely doing what all Christians are called to do--spread the love of God throughout the nations. So to everyone who is looking at this page and reading these words and listening to this great music (unless you muted it) and came from a website other than blogger, thank you. I hope this sparks a bit of a social networking revolution as well so we can begin to use all these sites for passing on good news and reassuring each other and supporting each other across the globe. Leave me a comment of how you ended up on this page too!! I'm really interested to see how we're all connected. :)

Love y'all,

So, this isn't the first time I've tried this...

Hi all! So I've been blogging on and off for about a year now. I've tried everything from tumblr to baking to photography to just life blogging but I could never keep up with it consistently. I think my problem was that I would start the thing like most people start new diets. It's really great and new and you're super excited and motivated to finally be committed to this thing but then two weeks in you see a fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookie and you just can't resist...yes that applies to blogging. Trust me. Cookies can be distracting.

Anyway, this time it's going to be different because I have a purpose and a weekly, achievable goal that I am super confident in and I'm already journaling like a boss so this should be a cinch. (I literally almost thought it that word should be snitch. We'll get into my slight obsession with Harry Potter later though.) Most of what I put on here will probably be about how God is working in my life or about how awesome my friends are or how those two things are combining into a super mega awesome force of awesomenss. Yes, really.

One thing I'm going to put right out there from the beginning is this:  I am not your typical go to school for 4 years and get a job kind of girl. I don't even see myself staying in the country for more than 4 years from now. Frankly, I'll probably be in Europe helping the World Health Organization educate people on health issues. And I can't imagine doing anything more fulfilling. Sure, I want to have that fairy tale where my prince sees me from across the room and he pursues the crap out of me and then we live happily ever after and I get a cute little diamond, but I know there are people in the world who don't even have clean drinking water. In fact, 13% of the world doesn't have clean drinking water. That's more than 1 out of every 10 people, and there are around 7 billion people on this planet. So rather than lie and say I don't need no man, I'd rather say I have my priorities straight and my man will get at me when the time is right. And it's my job as a Christian to go to the lost and the broken and bring them home.

Speaking of which, drum roll please.....I am going to Kenya this summer for two weeks to work with children and I am super stoked about it. I've felt the call on my heart for a year now to go to Africa but until about 5 days ago, I didn't know how I was going to get there. Well, frankly I still don't know because I have to raise $2,000 and I've never seen that much money at one time in my entire life. So this is a huge step of faith for me just trusting that if the Lord has called me to do this, then He will provide. And I tell myself that everyday. And I pray for it every night.

So I guess if I could ask one thing of you, and I know this is my first post so maybe it's asking a lot, please keep me in your thoughts and prayers and pray that God uses me in this trip and that I find the support I need because heaven knows I do not have to funds for this trip on my own.

You all rock. Blessings loves,