Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thankful for...

Thanksgiving. Airplanes that bring me close to home. Colorado. Cold. Snow. Mountains. Two hours gazing at pure beauty on the ride home. Seeing a new home for the first time. Waking up to snowy mountains framing a wind-swept lake . Wearing my snow boots—finally! Walking through the snow with my mom. Making snow angels. Getting warm by the fire. Playing card games with my family. Five-person solitaire. Go Fish with Alyssa. Indian Rummy and War. Movies. Chick flicks on Hallmark. Clifford on Netflix. “Surrender-Ella.” The Godfather with the guys. Football. iPad and iPod games. Battleship, Solitaire, Sudoku. Getting beat at Sudoku every time by an 11-year old. Warm jackets. Many blankets on a cold night. Flannel snowflake PJs. Cozy socks. Switching hands while reading to keep one hand warm under the blankets. Bathtubs. Jumping on beds. Broken beds. Trips to the hardware store. Grocery store runs. Peanut butter ice cream! Meeting people everywhere you go. Small towns. Thanksgiving dinner. Mashed potatoes beat with a fork by a brave brother. Homemade cranberry sauce and stuffing. Gluten-free pumpkin pie. Real Christmas trees. A fresh pine scent. Ornaments that bringing a little bit of Texas into Colorado (like Texas Santa!) KLOVE. Pandora. Christmas music. Brother. Sisters. Video chat for a brother far away. Crowding around the computer so everyone can be a part of drawing names for gifts. Laughter. Tickles. Random conversations. The Chinese Boston Tea Party (???) “Cheeseman.” Little sisters with attitude. “I tore a page out of your book. I thought you should know.” Dave Ramsey. Finances. Goals. Big plans. Big dreams. Micah 7:18-20. Knowing that God is compassionate. Ice laden trees and grass. Driving back down the mountain. Watching a movie on the way. Gun shopping. Clothes shopping. Starbucks. Macaroni Grill. Saying goodbye… but knowing I’ll be back. Plane rides. Good books to read while flying. Warm cookies to eat! Getting picked up by an awesome Portland roommate who is also making Texas home. Having two homes. Missing one of them, no matter where I am.

Having the chance to do it all again at Christmas.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

When Life is Hard... God is Good.

It has been way too long since I have last posted. Many thanks to my roommate for reminding me that I even have a blog. :)

Part of the reason for my lack of posting is lack of things to share. Or perhaps just lack of good things to share. Because life is hard sometimes. But God is always good. I am going through a Beth Moore Bible Study right now and every page speaks right to my soul. I thought some of this was just too good not to share.

"Do you ever feel too weary, worn, and beaten up by life to believe God can do anything wonderful and miraculous with you? Can you stack up all sorts of rational reasons why you feel you are past God's being able to use you? Many times when He told me through His Word and prayer to believe Him for something very specific, over time the outlook on the matter dwindled from good to slim to utterly impossible before He brought it to pass.

Beloved, is anything "too hard" for you right now? If so, you have the perfect setting for a miracle. Wonders come all sorts of ways, sometimes in the greater miracle that results when we don't get what we were so convinced we wanted and end up with something far more glorious.

In Revelation 3:20 Christ says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me." Set the table, Beloved, and greatly anticipate the One who can serve a miracle for dessert.

'Is anything too hard for the Lord?' "

~Beth Moore in The Patriarchs: Encountering the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Autism Is A World.

I just finished watching a documentary called Autism is a World. Everyone has times when they are unable to clearly communicate what they are thinking or feeling. Sometimes we may forget the correct word or our minds just go blank. For individuals with autism or other mental disabilities, however, that feeling may be a continual one. In Autism Is A World, Sue Rubin, a 26-year old autistic woman, showed how individuals with autism—and other mental disabilities—experience that inability to communicate every day.

The resulting frustration from lack of communication must be profound. But one thing is certain; no matter how severe the disability or even mental retardation may be, every individual thinks and feels and yes, even communicates. While an individual may be non-verbal or convey feelings in ways that may be unintelligible to an average person, communication still takes place. The difficulty comes in interpreting the thoughts and feelings when they are conveyed in a non-traditional way.

However, through technological and social advances, individuals in the United States are given the opportunity to be understood. There are still steps to be taken to ensure that these individuals can reach their fullest potential. But my mind is continually drawn towards those individuals living in third world or old Soviet Bloc countries. How many countless of them are just as capable as any one of us, but never given the resources to advance their minds and themselves? Or how many others, perhaps not as intellectually advanced, still long to convey some small part of what runs through their minds? These must also be given a chance, an same opportunity. Someone must go and serve... to unlock their minds and let them touch the world.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Then God Came

I was asked to write something for another blog... and it turned out being quite a revelation for me as well.

“And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with Him. Then He said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” …And there He blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” The sun rose upon him as he passed Peniel, limping because of his hip.” (Genesis 32:24-26, 29-31)

When you read this story, what comes to mind? Do you see it as just another Bible story? Perhaps you see it as strange, or even foolish. (After all, why would Jacob try to wrestle God—the man in this story)? Or maybe you’ve just never thought about it much. Well, I have probably thought one or more of those things at some point, but now this is actually one of my favorite stories in the Bible. I think if we could do what Jacob did, our lives would change. But before I get into that, a little history…

If you read the verses leading up to this section, you’ll find that Jacob was praying. Hard. He was getting ready to face his brother, who was bent on killing Jacob the last time they were together. Now that Jacob is returning with his entire family, he fully expects them all to be wiped out. Talk about problems! I’m sure you have all felt some of the pain Jacob did. You likely have not had the lives of your family threatened. But we all hurt. We all face life. And let’s admit it—life can be hard sometimes. In fact, life can be horrible. There are times when it’s hard to just keep moving and breathing and putting one foot in front of the other. But it is in those times that the miraculous happens.

God shows up.

It’s true. It may be hard to see, but He shows up in our lives today and He showed up in Jacob’s. But did you notice when He came?

“And Jacob was left alone.” It wasn’t when things were going great back at Laban’s house. It wasn’t when his mind was preoccupied with a journey. It wasn’t when he could push his problems to the back of his mind by playing with his kids or something. No. Jacob was at the end of his rope—and alone. There was no more hiding. No more pretending. No more ignoring the truth or hoping for another way out. He was alone, his brother was coming to kill him and his family, and God had been silent to his pleas.

Then God came. That is the beautiful part about God. When you reach the absolute lowest point you can go—God is there. When you can’t imagine another moment of pain or disappointment—God steps in. And when there are no other options available—God supplies your every need.

But there’s another part to this story. You’ll notice that things didn’t immediately turn around for Jacob once God got there. Instead, he spent the night wrestling with God. And this is the lesson that is so valuable. There are times when life becomes so draining or overwhelming that you need God to step in and do something BIG. And God wants more than anything else to do that for you… but He wants you to want it just as much.

And so we must wrestle. Desperately seek His will through His Word and the counsel of others. Beg for His strength and mercy. Live and breathe and eat and drink up Who He is. We must want God more than anything! We have to put our entire beings--everything that we are--into running hard after God. Because it is only when every ounce of our being is focused solely and whole-heartedly on Him that can we can be used the way He wants to use us. Only then can He accomplish His great and perfect will for our lives. Half-hearted prayers and weak desires are not enough. He must bring us to the place where we are desperate for everything He is.

When the sun rose on Jacob that morning, a new day had dawned. He named the place “Peniel,” meaning “face of God.” He had met God face to face, wrestled with Him in desperation and pain, and nothing was the same. He had a new name, a new limp, and a blessing from God. That is what will happen every time we wrestle with God. It will not be easy. It will change who we are. It may leave us scarred. But it will always bring God’s blessing, “a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.” (Luke 6:38) And we will never be the same.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Levite in the House

"Now a man named Micah... said to his mother, "The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from you... I have that silver with me; I took it."

When he returned the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, she said, "I solemnly consecrate my silver to the LORD for my son to make a carved image and a cast idol."

...and she took two hundred shekels of silver and gave them to a silversmith, who made them into the image and the idol. And they were put in Micah's house.

Now this man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and some idols and installed one of his sons as his priest.

In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit...

A young Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, who had been living within the clan of Judah, left that town in search of some other place to stay. On his way he came to Micah's house in the hill country of Ephraim.

Micah asked him, "Where are you from?"

"I'm a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah," he said, "and I'm looking for a place to stay."

...then Micah installed the Levite, and the young man became his priest and lived in his house. And Micah said, "Now I know that the LORD will be good to me, since this Levite has become my priest."

~Judges 17

Our pastor preached on this passage this Sunday. Micah, the main character, is just one example of what happened when 'everyone did as he saw fit.' He stole a large sum of money from his mother and when he returned it, she "thanked" the Lord by creating an idol! Micah set up a shrine for the idol along with all the other gods he worshipped and then installed his son as a priest. When a Levite came along, he decided to appoint the Levite as his priest instead.

Then notice the last phrase... "I know that the Lord will be good to me, since this Levite has become my priest."



Idol worship.

Utter disregard for the Word of the Lord.

And yet, because Micah has a Levite, he thinks God will bless him.

How foolish. How ridiculous!

But how often do I do the same thing?

My life is also full of sin. Full of false gods.

Security becomes more important than trust. Computer takes the place of spending time with God. "Having fun" overshadows stewardship of what God has given me. Pride interferes with a right relationship with Him.

And yet I think that because I read my Bible or go to church or donate money, God will bless me? How foolish. How ridiculous!

The blessing of God does not come because I have "a Levite in the house." His blessing is not given for the asking. It is not based on outward signs of obedience that serve only to disguise a prideful heart.

But "blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods." ~Psalm 40:4

Only when I humble myself and seek His face... Only when I completely forsake the false gods in my life--my pride, my security, my faith in myself... Only when I stop trusting the Levites in my house to bring blessing and turn wholly and completely to the God of the universe...

Only then will I find His blessing.

"Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory; that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!" ~1 Chronicles 4:10

Monday, March 8, 2010

Every day is a journal page. Every man holds a quill and ink.
And there's plenty of room for writing in. All we do is believe and think.
So will you compose a curse or will today bring the blessing?
Fill the page with rhyming verse or some random sketching?

Teach us to count the days, teach us to make the days count.
Lead us in better ways that somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much... Life means so much... Life means so much.

Every day is a bank account and time is our currency.
So nobody's rich, nobody's poor; we get 24 hours each.
So how are you gonna spend? Will you invest or squander?
Try to get ahead or help someone who's under?

Teach us to count the days, teach us to make the days count.
Lead us in better ways that somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much... Life means so much... Life means so much.

Has anybody ever lived who knew the value of a life?
And don't you think giving is all that proves the worth of yours and mine.

Life means so much...

Teach us to count the days, teach us to make the days count.
Lead us in better ways that somehow our souls forgot.
Life means so much...

Every day is a gift you've been given. Make the most of the time, every minute you're living.

Friday, March 5, 2010

You're not alone...

"You're not alone for I am here/Let me wipe away your every fear/My love, I've never left your side/I have seen you through the darkest night/and I'm the one who's loved you all your life." ~Meredith Andrews.

Will you please be there for a little one who is all alone? Please, demonstrate God's love to them, especially little Andrey this month.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Be a Warrior

Dear friends,

I just learned that March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day. In preparation for that day, I am joining with many others to become a "warrior" for a precious little one with Down's Syndrome. I would like to invite you to join me.

Here is how it works.

First, please visit Reece's Rainbow's At Risk Page and look for Andrey, the child I have chosen to be a warrior for this month.

(Isn't he adorable??? Yet he is at high risk for being institutionalized in Eastern Europe. Once that happens, the chances of him being adopted are extremely small. For the sake of his future... will you please do something?)

Once you find him, please donate $21 (for the date of World Down Syndrome Day OR any amount that is possible for you) to go towards his adoption.

I know for some of us, $21 is quite a bit of money. But I am reminded of something I heard Ryan Dobson say recently; how much money is a life worth? How can you put a price tag on this little one's life? With that in mind, please give as generously as you can.

Now it's YOUR turn to be a warrior.
Look through these pictures of precious children and choose one that you will fight for this month! Spread the word anyway you can and ask others to give $21 to bringing your child home. It's amazing... just by spending the last 20 or so minutes spreading the word about Andrey, I feel so connected to him; like I really am his voice to the world and his warrior. You can do the same for a little one.

Just so you know... Reece's Rainbow is a ministry that advocates for orphans with Down Syndrome. They collect grant money for specific children as well, in hopes of making the adoption expenses less of a burden on adopting their family. I have been aware of their ministry for some time and know they are worth supporting.

God bless you as you serve Him!

Love in Christ,

P.S. Andrey currently has $240 towards his adoption. I am excited to see that amount grow!

Friday, February 26, 2010


"I will walk humbly all my years
because of this anguish of my soul.

Lord, by such things men live;
and my spirit finds life in them too."

~Isaiah 38:15b-16a

Anguish. It is not a pleasant thing to experience. In fact, that is quite the understatement. Anguish is painful. Horrible. Completely and utterly heartbreaking.

But I want more of it.

Something inside of me longs to truly understand the truth of our world. My heart wants to ache with God's heart at evil. Hurt when I see injustice. Break at the pain. Feel anger at sin.

Because when I experience anguish, I am forced to "walk humbly," knowing that God is in control and that I am completely incapable of accomplishing anything. I hurt and mourn and ache... but in the end, I must give it to God or else I couldn't survive the pain. In anguish, there is surrender.

When I experience anguish, I know things that are worth knowing. My mind isn't focused on clothes or money or friends or my selfish needs and wishes. It can't be. I know hard truths that move me from complacency to action; from fear to courage; from doubt to faith. I cannot stay where I am. In anguish, there is change.

When I experience anguish, I have purpose. Faced with hard truth, my focus moves from within to without. There is nothing so strong as a deep desire to change; change myself and change my world. "Lord, by such things men live; and my spirit finds life in them too." In anguish, there is life!

It is not easy. It is not fun. Sometimes, it hurts so bad I can barely breathe, much less act. But I would rather live in anguish than complacency. I would rather ache than feel nothing. I would rather follow God with all the ups and downs and twists and turns of life, knowing He is there, than face the world alone.


What brings you anguish? Here are just some of the things that cause anguish for me.

147 Million orphans living alone.

A young woman giving up her life to change lives.

An unthinkable evil that still exists today.

Precious children who live on "borrowed time."

47 million babies... dead.

What is God calling YOU to feel anguish for?

Friday, February 19, 2010

As I sit here at my computer, I am drinking of mug of diluted Apple Cider Vinegar. Why, you are probably wondering in confusion. Well, I am sick and have no health insurance at the moment, so I am learning to cure things naturally. It did take away the pain last night... now I'm just waiting for the rest of me to recover!

On another note, I am contemplating a move to San Antonio. (Yes, Texas. I have never heard of another San Antonio, but with all the friends who ask me "Texas?" I thought I should clarify)! I just need to call about apartments/places to lives and find out how much it will cost to move before I make a final decision.

Your prayers would be appreciated for both of these matters.

One last thing... I found a blog by an absolutely amazing young woman of 21 who has lived for the last two years in Uganda and adopted 14 children! If you want to be convicted and inspired (or even if you don't), you have to check out her blog.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Taste and see that the Lord is GOOD.

This evening, I heard a question that spoke deeply to my soul.

How do I see God apart from His miracles and sovereign intervention in my life?

It seems easy to believe in God's goodness and love when I see Him at work. When I watch Him re-arrange events or send just the right person at just the right time, I know He is there. But what of those times when He seems invisible?

In the daily monotony of everyday life... do I still see Him?
In the pain and hurt caused by others... do I believe in His kindness?
In the sorrow and suffering surrounding me... do I still know that He is good?

Often in those times, I do not look for or see His present goodness. I cannot imagine how this could be 'good.' Instead, I look back to His past goodness and believe He will be good again.

But that is not right! Our God is good ALL the time! So what of His goodness now? Where is His goodness in the suffering or the failures or the boredom or the pain of life? What do I see today?

When it seems we are struggling just to survive, we must see God. And know...

In each breathe that I take, He is good.
In the sun that rises each day, He is kind.
In food we can eat and water we can drink, He is mercy.
In the rain and the wind, He is love.
In music and dance, He is joy.
In laughter and smiles, He is hope.

Even in pain and sorrow, He is there.
In all things, He is our very life.

And every moment, He is good.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lots to cover!

Well, for days and weeks, I can think of very little to blog about. Then all at once, I have too much!

Item number 1: Scott Brown
I have not been so thrilled about politics since this time last year... Scott Brown, an underdog Republican candidate in Massachusetts has beat the established Democratic party tonight!!!

Brown has promised to be a no-vote on Obama's health care reform and seems strong in many other areas that are important to the majority of Americans and, apparently, the majority of voters in Massachusetts! He also seems like a very down to earth guy, which is important--hopefully it means the politics haven't gotten to him yet.

While I doubt this will be a wake-up call to certain liberals in Congress, I am hopeful that many will see they cannot do what they please and get a free pass from the American people! We will be informed, we will take a stand and we will be heard! I only hope and pray this momentum will continue through November elections and well into the future.

Item number 2: Haiti

I have been following some of what has happened in Haiti through various ministries and organizations who are sending supplies and support to help the people there. I can do very little for the people who are suffering so except to pray and give. I hope that you will join me in both.

Samaritan's Purse is one ministry that deserves all the support they can receive for what they are doing in Haiti and around the world.

I'm afraid I don't have much else to say on this subject. Too much thought causes too much heartache. Perhaps I will be able to write more later on.

Item number 3: Rifqa Bary
This is just as exciting (in my opinion!!!) as Scott Brown's win! Rifqa Bary is a young Christian woman who ran away from her Muslim family several months ago in fear of her life. She took refuge in Florida a legal battle between the state of Florida, the state of Ohio (where she is from), herself and her parents ensued.

She was moved to the Ohio foster care system and Christians across the country have been praying that the state will protect her until her 18th birthday (later this year), when she will be able to make her own decisions.

Well, today God answered prayers! Rifqa's parents gave up the fight and Rifqa will be staying in the Ohio foster care system until she turns 18. I am so thankful to hear that this young, courageous girl will not have to face the possibility of death at the hands of her family for proclaiming the name of Jesus!

Hear Rifqa's story in her own words here.
Read about the latest developments here.

God is so good to give many good and wonderful gifts to His children... and even in Haiti, He works all things together for good for those who love Him. What an awesome God He is.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Life handed me an unexpected opportunity today that I'm not quite sure what to do with. But while I'm thinking, I'm also praying. And remembering this beautiful verse from Jeremiah.

This is what the LORD says:
"Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.

He is faithful to show us the way when we stand at a crossroads. I'm praying for that direction now.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Sometimes life seems so hard... sometimes for very little reason at all! But God still cares and His promises are still true. Psalm 34 really spoke to me last night... just look at all His promises in one short chapter!

"I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
He delivered me from all my fears. (He takes away our fears!)

Those who look to him are radiant; (He makes us shine in His glory!)
their faces are never covered with shame.

This poor man [or woman] called, and the LORD heard him;
He saved him out of all his troubles. (He saves!)

The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and He delivers them. (He delivers!)

Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. (He blesses!)

Fear the LORD, you His saints,
for those who fear Him lack nothing. (He provides!)

The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. (He cares!)

Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,

keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking lies.

Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous (He sees!)
and His ears are attentive to their cry; (He hears!)

the face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
He delivers them from all their troubles. (He delivers!)

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted (He is near!)
and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (He saves!)

A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all; (And again... He delivers!)

He protects all his bones, (He protects!)
not one of them will be broken.

Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.

The LORD redeems his servants; (He redeems!)
no one will be condemned who takes refuge in Him."


Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Genesis 32:26. "And Jacob replied, I will not let you go unless you bless me."

I never really thought about how powerful that verse is. Jacob did not know he was wrestling with God Himself, but I doubt his response would have been any different. He spent the entire night wrestling with God for a blessing.

I know I don't have that kind of dedication--but I want it. I want to cling to God, pray to Him, seek His will, hold fast and say "I will not let go unless you bless me!"

After all, it's what He wants to do. He just wants us to ask.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Why is it that inspiration never comes when you most desire it? It is not to be had for the asking. Instead, it's bursts often seem few and far between. But when it does come, it is a glorious thing.

My inspiration (in the sense of writing that comes naturally and powerfully) tends to come from one of two places: reading God's Word or reading books inspired by God's Word. Hm... does that mean I'm inspired by inspiration? Perhaps so! I can only write powerful, moving things when God has used His inspired Word or the powerful writings of others to speak truth to me.

Well, I have not been greatly inspired in my writings lately. But here is something I wrote during Christmas 2008 that flowed from the truth of God's great plan for mankind and the writings of Bodie and Brock Thoene in the A.D. Chronicles. Enjoy

The face of God.
Adonai. Elohim. Yahweh.

The great I AM over all creation.
Come to earth as a helpless babe.
God Most High as One most human.

Who more human than a baby?
Helpless... Tiny... Precious...

The face of God becomes the face of man.
Innocence... Beauty... Glory...

God Most High in human flesh.

Who better to save a helpless race
than One who became helpless?
A helpless Savior? Yes.
Yet only because He chose helplessness.
He chose.

Chose to leave it all.
Power... Strength... Might...

To save us all.
But in His helplessness--everything.
Mercy... Love... Grace...



Most awesome face of God became
Most helpless face of man.
To save.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Real Men

In today's society, our culture so often downplays the important role of men. Men were designed to lead, to protect, to care and nurture. Unfortunately, many see those God given desires as chauvinistic or demeaning to women. (Honestly, I can't understand that, but anyway...)

All that to say, I was floored and excited to read Docker's new advertising strategy. In fact, I even joined their Facebook page (which is rather rare for me to do). Take a look and if you like what you see, let them know!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Goodbye, Hello!

Well, it is 2010! While a New Year is exciting, I am generally not into New Year's resolutions and I think the last time I stayed up until midnight was 2000... but since this past year has been so amazing in many wonderful ways, I want a way to remember all that has happened. I found this list of questions from Doug Phillips blog and thought it would be good to answer some of them in review of this year.

1. Where did I/we travel?
That is a big question! I did a little traveling early in the year, but then I really started going places in June and just finished a couple weeks ago! Let's see, I visited...

-Mississippi early in the year to work at a conference with GenJ.
-The Southwest with my family, traveling from KS to CO to UT, spent one night in Las Vegas, visited my uncle and aunt in AZ, and drove through NM on the way back home!
-Virginia for a week of camp (and found out I was the head female counselor after I got there)!
-My grandparents in Nebraska
-Colorado Springs for another camp!
-Granby, Colorado, where my family moved the beginning of August.
-Kansas (which we now have to visit, since we moved) for three weeks to run a local Bible Bee contest.
-Pennsylvania to see my friend Jasmine
-PHC (with Jasmine) to see all our wonderful friends there!
-The Midwest for my grandparents 50th Anniversary.
-My grandparents again for three weeks shortly after visiting for their anniversary.
-D.C. to volunteer at the National Bible Bee.
-England!!! (An amazing experience).

All in all, a wonderfully busy, traveling year!

2. What were the most important sermons I heard this year?
Hmm... good question. I love our new church here in Colorado and every sermon is amazing. Perhaps the one that I remember the most is when our pastor quoted Philippians: "Do not be anxious about anything..." In modern language, that verse should be translated "Do not be stressed about anything." That hit home for me. And it's not just a suggestion either. I am commanded: Do NOT be stressed! That is a tall order, but one I am trying to obey.

3. What books/articles did I write?
Well, this is not something I do much of, but I do hope to write a book (on political campaigns) in the coming year!

4. What significant household projects did we accomplish in 2009?
-Well, we moved... that was a rather large project. :)
-My mom also sold her business (Livin' Right Women's Fitness) which allowed us to move to Colorado!
-I finished my degree in July and officially graduated in December!
-I also have a new job with CollegePlus! I am a coach for approximately 20 students as they work through their own degree via distance learning.
-Finally, we set up a blog for this next year that will help us, our extended family and our friends stay accountable to reading the Bible in a year. We'd love to have you visit at

5. What were the most important meetings of the year?
Probably all the ones I had at the GenJ camps... getting to work with Godly men and women was such a blessing.

6. What special friendships were made this year?
Again, I have to go back to GenJ. There were some new friendships, some renewal of old friendships and some deepening of existing friendships: Sarah, Holly, Rachel, Stephanie, Lucas, Daniel, Joel, Michael, Emily, Kimberly, Kristi-Joy, Jeremiah, Willie, Will... you were all amazing. Thank you for such wonderful experiences!

And I also made some great new friends with the Bible Bee... our local committee, Carrie, Janice and Suzanne, as well as at the National Competition, especially Taylor!

7. What diet and physical exercise regimen did I maintain to honor “my temple”?
I do my best to regularly eat healthy. Unfortunately, my physical exercise has declined since I no longer work at a fitness center. That should certainly top the list of my New Year's Resolutions.

8. What books did I read?

This could be a long list! I'll have to start with just a few and add to the list as I think of them. (Ones with stars are ones I highly, highly recommend!)

*Pajama School ~Natalie Wickham
*Mere Christianity ~C.S. Lewis
Surprised by Joy ~C.S. Lewis
For the Temple: A Tale of the Fall of Jerusalem ~G.A. Henty
*The Spirit of Churchill ~Debbie Brezina
The Duggars: 20 and Counting ~Michelle Duggar
*A.D. Chronicles ~series by Bodie and Brock Thoene
*Zion Covenant ~series by Bodie and Brock Thoene
*Galway Chronicles ~series by Bodie and Brock Thoene

You may be able to tell, I enjoy reading anything written by the Thoene's. The Zion Covenant Series is especially powerful, though heartwrenching. I actually couldn't finish reading them because they were so heart breaking. I do still highly recommend them-just not in large doses.

Here is my list of partially read books:
How Shall We Then Live? ~Francis Schaeffer
*The Road to Reality ~K.P. Yohanan
Let Me Be a Woman ~Elisabeth Eliot
The Soul of Prince Caspian ~Gene Edward Veith

I am certain I have read more than this, but these are the ones that stick out. I hope to read many more books this year, as I no longer have tests to study for!

9. What Scriptures did my family memorize?
As a part of the Bible Bee, we memorized many more Scriptures than we normally do. It was exciting to see just how much we can memorize in a short period of time. And I am quite excited to have finally memorized the book of Philippians after a few years of trying!

10. What loved ones died this year?
I am blessed that no close personal friends or family have passed away this year. However, a good friend of my grandparents, a sweet lady I had the opportunity to know, passed away just one week before Christmas. I know my grandparents and her own family are still struggling with losing her so close to the holidays. They are in my prayers.

11. What were the great personal/ministry/national tragedies and losses of the year?

The greatest tragedy that comes to mind was the Fort Hood Massacre that took place only a couple months ago. We must continue to pray for the safety and protection of our troops and the comfort of their families.

12. What were the great personal/ministry/national blessings of the year?

Another thought that comes to mind is the pilot who saved the lives of those aboard his plane by landing it safely in the Hudson River.

There have been so many personal blessings in my life that it would be impossible to name them all. I am just so thankful for all that God has done!

13. What were my most significant failures/sins for the year 2009?
Yikes--difficult question. I often find it difficult to make the most of the time I have, serve others cheerfully and stay patient when people and circumstances become frustrating.

14. What commitments have I made to overcome sin in 2010?
First, I am determined to memorize 1 John (which is all about love--hopefully remembering what Christ's love has done for me will help me demonstrate that love more willingly to others).

I am also committed to becoming more involved in ministries and writing a book, which I hope will force me to use my time wisely.

15. What significant spiritual and practical victories did I experience?

Perhaps the biggest lesson God taught me was that my security lies with Him; not my situation nor my finances. After having absolutely no money to pay personal and school bills, I have learned two important lessons. It really is "more blessed to give than to receive" (even and especially when you have nothing)! And I have also learned, "in whatever [financial] situation I am to be content." I am so thankful God saw fit to teach me those lessons this year and I am excited to see what I can do for others financially this year!

16. In what tangible ways did I communicate gratitude to those who have blessed me and invested in my life?
I hope that I have told those around me how I truly appreciate them. I know I fall short, so that is another goal I have for this year--to let others know how important they are in my lives.

17. What are the top ten themes of 2009 for me or my family?
1. My God is faithful-always.
2. His ways are not our ways--they're better.
3. True friends are worth investing in.
4. Wait.
5. Learn.
6. Trust.
7. Heal.
8. Forgive.
9. Hope. (still anticipating and looking for that which is to come)!
10. Change.

God bless each of you in this coming year... I can't wait to see what God has in store for each of us as we follow Him!