Sunday, May 27, 2012


I embody Romans 7:14-24; and it's not a scripture one really wants to embody. But I know if this scripture was in the dictionary my face would be the definition. Sometimes I feel that no matter how much good I do for the Lord, the evil I do, the sin that so easily entangles me out weighs it all.

Maybe that's why I feel the way I do. I constantly feel like I'm at war with myself; "For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members." Romans 7:22-23.

And I realized this morning on my 6 am bike ride why I've felt so broken, why sin has so easily entrapped me. Because I've been trying to do things all by myself, because I think it makes me stronger. For instance  I cannot become physically strong without the help of certain things; weights, my bike, and so on. I need these things to aid me in what I do and with their help, in the end I will come out stronger than I was before.

My life needs that with God. I cannot become strong on my own, I can't win any battle alone, I will always need His word, His guidance, His presences, and with Him, and only with Him will I come out stronger.

I always think I can get along on my own, but as I look back on my life I realize my weakest, most destructive moments was when I was depending on myself and my strongest and best moments came when I was depending on God.

We live in a culture that is extremely individualistic, that is all about number one and who can make the most money, and that you can't depend on others because it makes you weak. But it is false, its all wrong. Depending on God doesn't make you weak, it makes you incredibly strong. With God all things are possible, alone nothing is possible...

I am not prefect by any means, not even close. I'm still growing, I still make mistakes. I still have moments of individuality, moments of brokenness and I wouldn't want anyone to think otherwise. Faith and dependence on God isn't and overnight, one-stop destination, It's a life time, non-stop journey.

We're going to mess up, make mistakes, we are sinful by nature but we have a loving and grace giving God and He is the only one who can rescue us. No matter what people preach at you about going it alone, we all need our God. That emptiness we feel inside of us cannot be filled by the things of this world. It was made specifically to be filled by the Lord of all. He gives us the choice to fill it with Him or worldly things. But the worldly things will only continue to make us weaker, where God will makes us strong. Yet the choice is ours.

It's not easy and we are bound to mistakes, but those mistakes help us grown and teach us what it takes to depend on God and keep our faith always. I am praying that I continue to learn how to strengthen myself in the Lord and flee the evil desires. He gives us a choice and all we have to do is choose. What we do with these lives that our freely given to us is important and I want to take mine and give it to the Lord and live it shining is light and sharing is love.

Strengthening myself in the Lord,

HIS and yours,


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


How do I start this.

I am so broken. I am so frustrated. so angry. so irked. so impatient. so anxious. so worried. so scared. so excited. so broken.

Lately I have had many ups and downs to my moods because frankly at the moment life has been tough to handle. There are so many emotions swimming around in my skull they seems to be flooding me one by one, so one day I can be completely happy and the next I can be a complete crank and right now all I can think to do is let them all settle down inside of me and move on from there.

But what I've realized the most is how worthless I am. No really, I don't need a speech about how you do so much and you are so strong and all this. I can't handle that right now, what I need is an honest, you're right... you are worthless, you can't do anything, you are a broken and lost human being. I know it, I see it in myself everyday. Every day I look in that mirror and think you've got nothing to give this world or anybody. Every day I realize that by myself I've got nothing, I am worth nothing. I am a lost and broken human being.

It's something that has hit me more recently. I let people in to easily. Because I love on people to easily. I see the good in everybody. Everybody but myself. It's so hard when people constantly look at you like you do all these amazing things and i read your blog and you're faith is so strong and you've got it all figured out. but I don't and I don't think I ever will. My faith is so small and I constantly let myself get in the way of that and it's a constant battle, one that i have to keep fighting daily but i don't want people to see. Because people, let's face it... they don't really care, every one is always worried about number one. It's hard to be that person that genuinely cares about others, but never gets anything in return, it's how I constantly get hurt. Friends who don't stay in contact because... "well it's not convenient" and I've realized that a lot of my friendships wouldn' exist if i didn't keep in contact. And it is so frustrating to know that people don't care about you unless you're conveniently standing right in front of them. How cruddy is that? honestly.

It's been tough lately, since finding out that I am going to Tanzania for a year I have never been more excited, and yet that excitement has been torn down by the way people have pulled away from me. Friends, family, people I thought would stand next to me, become closer to me. They get angry with me, which makes me angry with them in return and then I'm just a cranky person, which isn't me, not in the least. or i see all these "i miss you" posts, and yet I haven't heard a single thing from anyone. and yet than it makes me stubborn waiting for someone... just ONCE... once... to email me, text me, message me, call me. first. Just once. and yet... I'm still waiting.

I guess what I've realized is, is that I don't have it all together and I am never ever in control, and sometimes... or most times it's frustrating and makes me impatient. But I am a broken human being, prone to make mistakes, yet for some reason Jesus still holds on to me. And i hold on to Him, because He's all I've got, He's all I'll ever have. It doesn't make sense at all holding on to something I can't see and yet, He's the only one that knows me, knows my weakness, my strengths, my imperfections. The only one that has called me first. He called me to Him. He made the first move, to take me from my old self and cleanse me. To give me the heart I have now, the sensitive, loving, sometimes impatient and frustrated heart. To teach me to love people no matter how hard, to do things without asking for anything in return. And it's hard. it's so hard, because I am a broken human being. But He's working on me. He's making me whole. I just take a lot longer than other people. so for now I feel broken but I also feel a lot of hammering and chiseling going on in my heart. and I'm going to keep following Him even if that means no one is with me. He's all I have, He is all any of us have, even if we don't believe, even if we don't see. He's with us. Always. to the very end of the age.

Broken and Seeking.

HIS and yours,


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tanzania; from one journey to the next.


That word has been floating around my brain since the 12th of May. Tanzania. I've been sitting on this post for quite sometime because frankly I haven't had the words to describe the feelings I have and the amazement I have for my God. Tanzania, WOW. I guess you can see that I got my assignment as well as my ministry partner. I don't know her name, but I am praising Jesus that he has blessed me with a sister in Christ to spend the next year of my life with. From just finishing college to moving to another country, God's plans never cease to surprise me and fill me with so much joy. I am so ready for this.

I've been reading through old journals lately since coming home after graduating college, it's weird and yet hilarious to see all the trivial things I worried over even just a month ago. And yet God has been faithful through it all, has carried me through the struggles and held my hand through the joys. He has always been there even the times I didn't feel him or didn't hear him, He's constantly been there and always will be. It's crazy to think how He continues to move me, I think He knows that my heart is everywhere and just wants to be with so many people. So He keeps moving and I keep following, and this path is leading me to Tanzania. (I wish you all could see the smile on my face).

Now this decision comes with some hardships, but it wouldn't be trusting in Him and having faith if I didn't have to let go of the things. A big part of me wanted to return to Uganda, really bad, and when I told my amazing friend Michael that I was going to Tanzania, his encouraging words were "I know you wanted Uganda, but I know God's got a plan for you." And those six words "God's got a plan for you," helped me realize that no matter where I go, and no matter what I'm doing, it's for God and it will never be in vain.

I'm also leaving three months earlier than I had planned, which means less time with my family and friends now, which is tough, I just got home and soon I'll be packing up and leaving and moving on. But the truth is I can't see myself doing anything else. This is where my heart is, helping God's people and it's taking me overseas, away from what I know is comfortable. But Christ doesn't call us to be comfortable, He calls us to become uncomfortable, to get into the nitty gritty of things, to go out to the destitute and love them, to pick up our cross, cast out our fear, and follow after Him.

I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm ready. I'm waiting. This time right now is to become prepared, to dig deeper in my relationships with friends and family, but more importantly to dig deeper into my relationship with God, because when I leave here, He is the only foundation I've got. I am scared and sad to leave my family and friends. but I keep remembering to breathe in the Hope I have in the Lord and to breathe out my fear. Because with Him I can do all things. My strength alone will never be enough.

So right now I'm going to live in the now, soak in every moment I have with my family, take the trips I need to and go and visit my friends around Iowa, in Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Indiana, Canada, Philadelphia, and so on. Cause I don't know when I will see them again and I want each and every one of them how much I love them and how much they have blessed my life. And to let them know that I am here for them, though I'll be in another country, my heart is with them and so is my love.  "Jesus said present time is where you live your life. heart open, each moment. no past- future worry- just loving in the now" -Ann Freeman Price. So that's what I'm going to do.

Love Recklessly, Follow Freely, and Shine Christ.

In awe of our God,

   HIS and yours,


"Let me not pray to be sheltered from the dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it. Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved, but hope for the patience to win my freedom. Grant me that I may not be a coward, feeling Your mercy in my success alone; but let me find the grasp of You hand in my failure" -Rabindranath Tagone.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

When there's nothing left to do...

Lately I feel like I am being tossed back and forth like the waves at the sea. Like I am caught in a constant raging storm and I am being sucked under by the waves and when the moment comes to breath for air, I am drowning again.

"The Lord in heaven is stronger than the noise of great waters, yes, He is stronger than the great waves of the sea." -Psalm 93:4.

I am now down to 4 days before I graduate college and leave this campus that I have been a part of for the past four years. I don' know what else to do, I feel happy yet sad, anxious yet excited. Tossed back and forth, back and forth like the waves. And I guess when there's nothing left to do. I guess I should just remember. Remember and thank God for these memories that I will take with me. And as I sit here and remember I feel the calming of the raging sea inside of me in the form of more tears finding their way down my cheeks.

The past three hours I have spent writing letters. Goodbye letters, letters to let people know how much God has used them to bless my life. It's weird, I know I could tell them to their face, but I find that when I am face to face with someone I have a hard time finding words to say, it seems to go much better with a pen and paper in my hand. I didn't think I would have such a rush of emotions writing these letters. Letters to friends I've had all four years of college, for a few years and friends God has just placed in my life. Each of them have been a light in my life, a specific blessing from God and the perfect time when I needed them. Seriously I am the worst of these and yet God continues to bless my life with amazing people.

The waves are rushing over me in tears now and I feel like I've cried enough for the rest of my life in these past couple days, but I have a feeling I'm going to be that person at graduation. I'm not crying because of sadness, I'm crying over the joy have for God giving me a chance to know these people and letting me be a small part in their lives. God is so amazing, He uses people in such amazing ways, and as I have learned to open my eyes to His people around me, I've seen more of Him than I ever thought possible.

In no way am I ready to leave these people, in no way do I feel like I am prepared for what's ahead of me. As Hudson Taylor once said "God isn't looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow Him." And I think that applies not only to me, but to those people I am leaving behind. That even though friendships may be lost and people grow apart, I will always hold onto the way God used each person to bless my life, to change my way of thinking, to make me laugh, cry, get upset, to grow. People are not bad. they'll disappoint us, leave us out, make us feel lonely, and yet I try always, always to see the good in people, even when they only allow themselves to see the bad in me.

Yes everyone has darkness inside of them! It's why we all need Jesus so badly, but if we continually choose to look at the darkness, we blot the light out of that person and they choose to give into that darkness. We must look past the mistakes, the hair, the clothes, the face, the body, and look at the heart, the goodness of that heart, a heart that God made, and then you will see how glorious God is and how He works in and through people.

I've seen this with my own two eyes here at Northwestern with the friends I have and those who have moved on and graduated. God opened my eyes to men and women who love God and always were willing to look past my failures and struggles to love me as well. And I love them for that. and I love God for that.

This is tough. But I must move on. I know that I've been convincing myself and praying about it for weeks. No matter how weak and feeble I feel I must go, we all must go. Don't let the tears and the sadness and the fear and the things that are tough hold you back from moving. "God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on Him" -Hudson Taylor.

So lean on Him, He'll carry us.

Leaning on Him,

HIS and yours,


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

um. Untitled?

   I was thinking about it today again. thinking about how God is so Faithful. thinking about how scared I am. thinking about how excited I am. just thinking. I'm always thinking. I got an email today. My official acceptance as a Short Term Missionary for AIM. In a few short days I'll be getting a call to let me know where and when I'll be going to discuss flights and finances, and the future. And in 10 short days I will step from this journey into the next. God's always moving as am I. 
    Sometimes I get the slightest inclination that I am crazy insane for doing this. Average people don't leave everything they know behind on some crazy calling and head off into the unknown. There's a quote from A.W. Tozer that always seems to slow my thoughts on crazy; "Refuse to be average. Let your heart soar as high as it will." So I guess I refuse to be average. 
     Though there are time I know I do a horrible job at representing Jesus. I fail daily and I've realized it's something I desperately need to work on and something that He has been teaching me. To love recklessly, to fear nothing, to hope, to dream, to believe, to know that God has it all taken care of and that He won't put me through anything that I can't handle, and even when it gets tough He will carry me through. I can't let the fear cripple me. 
   Think about it, if we doubted our fears instead of doubting our dreams, imagine how much in life we'd accomplish. All too often we let the fear of doing certain things, living a certain way, having certain friends, whatever it may be, we let those things cripple us and they take control over our lives and instead of living, we slowly die inside. But God is calling us out of those things and into Him. Oswald Chambers once said "if we only did what we feel we are inclined to do, some of would never do anything." God calls us to do so many things but we let the fear, the inclination of believing someone else, someone who is more qualified will step out in faith and follow. But God is calling us. So what, I know in my heart I'm no qualified for what He has called me to, but I'm willing. Like Isaiah "Here am I. Send Me." God takes unqualified people and makes them qualified. Yes we are ordinary people, but our God is so EXTRAordinary. 
    To be honest, there is so much more to my life than to sit around in a small town and be afraid of living. I want to live radically, I want to live for Jesus, and if that seems wrong than I don't ever, ever want to be right. Yeah I know I don't look like the part and most days I don't act the part. But my heart can tell anybody where I am. And it's something I am still working on. My inside, because once my inside, my heart, my soul, my mind, is like Jesus, my outward appearance will reflect that. And I hold myself to a very high standard, I constantly disappoint myself. but God still loves me and His love is the one thing that will always be there and that will always keep me going. 

It's crazy to think that in 10 short days I will graduate college. There are so many things God has done in the past four years I have spent at college. There has been sadness, happiness, challenges and victories, and so many things. I've learned to fight for the people and the things I love. I've learned that sometimes I am a terrible friend and family member, that sometimes I can have a really awful attitude. I've learned how to deal with conflict, to deal with death. to deal with pain. to deal with sadness. And in all these things He was there helping me grow, teaching me, loving me, holding onto me. He took me to places that were so foriegn to me, even in Orange City, IA. To a bakery down the road from school, to meet a group of wonderful older men, that loved on me like I was their grand daughter, fed me bought me coffee and shared stories of life, love, and loss. They impacted me in ways they may never know. But I love those men. He brought me wonderful friends and roommates that have changed my life, challenged me in so many ways. Through the ugliness and the laughter, I've loved them and been blessed by them so much. He took me to Texas, to a prison service full of 300 men and never did I feel scared, never did I feel nervous. I fell in love with those men in that service the way the worshiped our God, I didn't see prisoners, bound by shackles. I saw sons of God, set free by His love and His grace. 
  He brought me to Haiti, where of course I fell in love with those children, with those my own age, with the people in general, with the missionaries. He brought me there, and though it was not the place i was called to it will forever be the place where He confirmed my calling. He gave me a team I love so much, friendships that I could never be so thankful for. Words cannot express my love for my team member who saw me at my worst, at my best, and all the in between.
  and finally Uganda. He brought me there and that is where I left my heart. With those people, with that culture, in that Country. He showed me a new way to live for Him there. with 16 american teenagers who blessed my life more than I can say. Each one of those kids impacted me, I definitely did not feel qualified to lead those teens, but each one of them amazed me, blessed me, and I love each one of them. But deep in my heart the moment i stepped off that plane and onto that soil it felt like the part of me that had been missing was filled, and that part is still there. with those children and their smiles, and laughter, and love. Because all the tears shed, all the laughter carried through the wind, every moment there and every moment here as made me love them more, made me miss them more. And God being the God of awesomeness has called me to serve.
    I don't know where I am going yet. But wherever I go, I will be doing God's work so I know in my heart that i will fall in love with it. I'm scared, but I will not let my fear get in the way of my life. "There are grave difficulties on every hand, and more are looming ahead- therefore we must go forward." -William Carey. I know there will be struggles and I know at times I'll probably wake up in the morning and wish I wasn't there. but God has a plan and I will continue to follow that, because my life is His.

But the one thing I have yet to say is my family. Gosh words cannot express the love I have for those 5 people God so graciously put in my life. I know at times we are crazy and get annoyed with each other and are on edge. But in the end we all love each other deeply, even if at times it may not look like it. God has given us so much love for one another. God has given us so much faith in one another. There isn't one thing God has not brought our family through and each time we become closer. We've been through some tough stuff. And yet He is faithful and He always comes through. It always works out, God always works it out. Without my family I couldn't do any of this. The trust, the love and the faith they have in me is incredible. I love them so much and the hardest thing to do is to leave them, because in all honesty I don't know what to do without them. Even the many days we go without talking, I know I can pick up the phone and they'll be right there. Through the tears falling on my keyboard right now I can say the hardest thing will be saying goodbye to these five people. these amazing, loving, blessings in my life. It hurts, but I know God's plan is for me to go. And my family, God bless each of them, support me in this calling, it's scary with traveling overseas, money, communication will be tough, and yet they support me. They're happy for me, sad to see me leaving, but ready to see what God has in store. My family is the most important thing in my life and God knows how hard this is for me. But I know that my family will be there for me when I return and God's got amazing things planned for each one of my family members in the days to come. I can't wait to see what He is going to do. 

So in this not so short blog I've poured my heart out some more. God's got His hand on my life and I am so encouraged and so blessed by Him and His love. My life is His and I'll continue to live it for Him all the days of my life. For Him and only Him.

   Doubting my fears and Trusting in Him,

  HIS and yours,


The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall." - Nelson Mandela