Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Vacation and Lessons Learned

Hey everybody,

  I am going to do an update for the last two months.  I stink at keeping up on my blog but I am working on being better.

  In July,  I lost a few people who were very important to me.  I had seen the Lord change them and use them in amazing ways.  I had a hard time understanding why God would take two people in the same week.  I spent quite a bit of time in prayer and thought trying to understand how God was going to use their deaths for his glory.

My friend Derek drowned after saving his son.  He died a hero but I couldn't understand why God would take someone so young from this world.  However in the events that followed his death, I was able to see how God would use it.  Derek accepted Jesus into his heart about a month before he died and is now spending eternity with his Heavenly Father.  I was able to see how God would bring people together after such a tragedy and how people are working to help his family.

The Athletic Director from high school passed away from cancer.  Now this man had an impact on my life while I was in high school and it was hard to hear he had passed away.  I was able to see how the Lord would bless a community and take care of the family through this event.  He is saved and spending eternity in heaven with no pain anymore.

I have also been working on finding full-time employment for the summer, but have been blessed with two part-time jobs that help with everything.  I have been working on trusting the Lord to provide the perfect job in HIS TIMING and not my own.  I have also been working on being thankful for the positions I do have currently.

  On August 4, 2012 my world and my family's world was rocked after we lost someone very close to us.  My cousin Tony died in a motorcycle accident.  He was a great man, father, husband, son, cousin and many other roles.  He was a great demolition derby driver and always provided a show at any of the derbys we went to.  I am still working on being strong and getting back to everything being normal but it is taking time.  It has been only a month since he passed so everyone is still healing and working on being there for one another at all times.

This past weekend was my family reunion.  It was the first reunion and derby without Tony.  I was so blessed to have the weekend off from work to go home.  I had a blast and learned so many things over the weekend.
   On Friday night, my mom and I headed out for Blairstown, IA for the derby.  It was about a 2 hour drive to go watch and for me that meant time to talk with my mom.  It has been a while since we have been able to have long conversations so it was really good.  We made it to Blairstown with maybe 15 minutes to spare before the race began.  We parked, paid general admission, then found my family in the pit so paid to sit there which I would not change for anything.  This was my first derby since 2007 so I did not know what to expect for the night.  I brought my camera to take as many photos as I could.  Sitting in the pits gave me a front seat to all the heats of the derby.  My cousins did very well throughout the entire derby.  After the derby we went back and saw everyone which was good because I hadn't seen them in awhile.
   On Saturday we packed the car full and headed to the campground to set up for the next couple days.  My dad and brother are the pros at setting up the tent so I let them do their work.  We hung out on Saturday and shared a meal together.  Saturday was extremely hard because of all the memories flooding back from prior years with Tony at the reunion.  It was hard so I spent some time processing.  We sat around the fire later that night and shared stories and funny memories.
   On Sunday, we had breakfast together and then did our own thing for a while.  I worked on a project for the auction later on that day.  I also spent time just talking to people and getting to know them better.  Most of us had been camping so we were there for lunch already but others usually come for lunch and the auction, so people started slowly arriving at 11:30ish or so and continued to show up throughout the day.  We had lunch together, chatted for a bit, and then got the auction under way.  Each year we have the auction to raise money for next year's reunion.  My dad and brother spent quite a bit that day but it was worth it and they both got something for me.  My brother and I were having bidding wars over pocket knives and he won both times.  At the end of the night however, he gave me the knife I wanted as an early birthday present.  That is very rare in my family because my siblings tend to forget my birthday, however it was a great surprise from him.  My mom and I stayed overnight again, but my dad, brother and his girlfriend went home.
   Sunday night was a night to remember.  We spent time around the fire talking about some of the craziest snake stories and memories that my family had.  My family loves to pull pranks on each other so there were plenty of stories about them.  Later on we let off lanterns into the sky.  It was so fun because I had been wanting to let lanterns off for awhile but hadn't had a chance.  We talked about lighting them off for Tony's birthday which is only a couple weeks before mine so I'm excited for that.
   Monday we packed up and headed back to Pella.  I spent some time with my family before heading back to Des Moines.  I love spending time with family, but I always miss MY FAMILY in Des Moines when I'm gone.

Thanks for reading.


Give Me Faith

Hey all!

   The name of this post is one of my favorite songs currently!! I had the privilege of learning it through my church.  I love when a song speaks straight to the core of your being to challenge you! Sometimes it takes me a bit to learn how to practically apply things and even listen.  This song is a great reminder of how the Lord takes care of us regardless.

   I have had the honor of learning to trust God and lean on him through every trial.  Recently I had a sister tell me that no matter what God is always there.  Don't get me wrong, I have known that for a while but it finally completely sank in this past weekend after one of the most difficult trials I have experienced.  This was about a month ago and also late in July.  I lost some people who were extremely important to me and I had a rough time knowing God had a plan through all of it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New Orleans, LA Trip

This is coming straight from my journal and heart! It may be a bit long!  Here goes:
    The Lord is so good and faithful.  I was able to go on an adventure/experience that changed my life.  I was able to allow Jesus to change my heart, mind, and attitude towards people.  I was able to see how close-minded I was towards things and that allowed for Jesus to come in and break my heart wide open.  In having this happen, I was exposed and could do nothing but run to the Lord.  One night in particular, the Lord really worked on my heart and in my life to show me some areas that I had been letting satan control and hold over me.  I spent some time after the worship and devotion praying for Jesus to break the chains of these sins.  After spending time in prayer and letting go of them, I felt so free and was able to hear the Lord speak to my heart.  The rest of the trip, I was able to see how God was going to use me and change my life forever.  I saw how much I changed on the trip by allowing for people to get to know me better and how my heart opened up to them.  This trip forever changed how I view people, their situation, where I live, who I live with, and ultimately my life.
    So many things happened that have allowed me to learn so much more about who I am and who I am in the eyes of my King.  I see that I am so different than when I left for the trip.  I keep looking for ways to show who Christ is, what he means to me, and what he has done for me.  My life's mission is to show Jesus to people every day of my life.  I am looking more at areas in my life that I need to grow in.
     From start to finish of the trip, I changed and became a different person who was more open and vulnerable about change instead of insecure and super secretive.  God really worked on me and changed me for the better.  I saw so many things that opened my eyes to what was really going on in my life.  I complained so many times about the little things that didn't matter before the trip and now I have become a daughter of the King who thinks more before she complains.  I am still working on it.
    The trip itself was hard, grueling, exhausting, and overwhelming but it was totally worth it to see the Lord use us to help better people's lives and circumstances.  Working at different sites allowed me to build relationships with the people I worked with and the people we were working for.  I spent one of the days investing in people's lives for 6 or 7 hours just talking, asking questions, and sharing my testimony.
    I was able to share my testimony with a man named Nolan.  During the time, I was able to see God work and learn so much about him, the hurricane, what really happened, the devastation, and the Lord opened my eyes to show me how truly blessed I am.  I used to think that I always needed to work for the next best thing and to gain more than I really needed.  It was an eye-opening experience because I was truly humbled by the Lord and everything that happened.
    This trip challenged me in so many ways because I was not used to everything that was happening on the trip.  I saw God answer so many prayers through this trip, He answered in so many unexpected ways, but it was so good and humbling.

What an awesome reminder that we serve such a great and faithful God. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Life and then some

It's been a long time since I last posted!!! A lot has happened since I last posted, I've graduated, started looking for a job, and many other things.  I started on a journey in January to train to be healthier and it has been so rewarding to see how much of a difference there is in my life.  I am almost at my goal set for a friend's wedding but I plan on continuing to train because I plan on running a 5K in June.  I also am doing it to be healthier so I can be around and work for God's Kingdom for a long time.

These lyrics have changed my life since Faithwalkers:
Even though few may stand and proclaim
Your great name
It's the life I want to live
I'm convinced, there is none like You

I'm not ashamed of the Gospel
I'm not ashamed of Jesus Christ
I will stand and boldly say
This is my life, whoa!!!!

I want this to be who I am for the rest of my life.  I went on two different mission trips in March and the Lord challenged my heart and me.  I went to Louisiana at the beginning of March with some people back in Pella.  I prayed before I left that the Lord would change me and make things clearer to me and He came through in a big way.  I will discuss the trip in a later post.  I also went on a mini mission trip to Des Moines in March with some friends from Grand View and DMACC.  The Lord really challenged me and continued to change who I was through this trip.  More later on this tip as well.

More to come later

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Change is Great

So, this year marks the last year of school before I head into the real world! It was scary to think about when someone asked me how I felt.  I just gave a response that was simple, saying "if I talk about it, the year will go by fast and I do not want that to happen yet."  However, I am pumped that it is my last year because I have accomplished so much and learned even more than I thought I would ever learn!!!  This year has started off great! I have a set schedule as to what I do everyday and it repeats itself most of the time.  One of my favorite parts of my day is the time I get to spend with the Lord in his word and prayer each morning!  I have been reading in 2 Timothy and have been encouraged and challenged by what I have been reading.
      2 Timothy 2: 3-7: Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits; since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.  An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.  It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.  Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
   I was challenged by these verses when I read them because it made me think about so many things.  I thought about how much the Lord has been using my life in the last 4.5 years that I have been in Des Moines.  I was pumped to think about how much of my life has changed these last few years.  I have seen so many changes happen in other people and even in school.  The Lord has made changes for the good and some have really tried my walk but made me stronger and who I am now.

 This weekend is my family reunion and I am pumped to see some people that I haven't seen in almost a year.  This side of my family brings entertainment and hilarity to photos and the reunion.  The people at the left grew up together minus the one in the middle because he is the youngest.  My family is quite unique and always brings something to the whole shebang.  I am pumped because I get to hear stories and learn so much about them and the past year.  These are from last year and I plan on taking more this year.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Catch Up

So it has been awhile since I posted something! Life has been crazy and usually I do not have a lot to write. There is a lot to talk about. So I am going to make a list:

1) My parents have moved since my last post. It has been a huge blessing for all of us because of the scene change. I went from not being able to stay at my parent's house to being able to spend a weekend there. I have many allergies and when they lived on a farm it made staying there difficult. It is a smaller space but super close to everything that you need, including the store and track!!! I am working on cardio work when school starts and it is an added bonus that they live three blocks from the high school and the track. Makes for ample opportunities to run when I visit them.

2) My sister moved home. She was living in Waverly and something happened and she decided to move back home. It is awesome that she is back because we can work on our relationship. The Lord also provided her a job when she moved back.

3) I am in my last year of school at Grand View. I am super excited but nervous at the same time. I am excited to be done with my college career but nervous to enter the "real" world. Over the last couple months, I have had to make decisions involving ministry and other things. One being that if I am not finished in December, I plan on getting a second concentration in Spanish.

4) Mission 2011 and Mission to the City have happened. I participated in both and learned so much from the Lord. During Mission 2011, I went to the Dominican Republic to share the Gospel with the people down there. I have kept in touch with many of the students that I met while I was there. It was a life changing experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat!!! During Mission to the City, I was gone for the first few days for my internship. I was bummed to miss most of the Mission trip to Des Moines, but was super excited to hear many of the stories.

5) My cousins are in the military. One is in the ARMY and one is in the NAVY. My cousin in the ARMY just left for basic on Monday. We tried to talk and catch up as much as possible before he left for 14 months. I am super scared for him, but I know the Lord will protect him. My cousin in the NAVY went out to sea a few months ago. I keep praying for the Lord to protect them because we are so close in age. It is scary to think about, but I know the Lord is watching over them.

6) I visited the east coast and the Atlantic ocean. This was my second trip to the coast and I enjoyed myself. I spent 10 days in December over Christmas break with my brother and his family. My brother was the one who picked me up from the airport and it was one of the best days I have ever had. My brother is in the NAVY and this was the first time he was there when I visited. Every other trip I have taken, he has been out to sea and it was hard not seeing him. It was so hard to leave them because we do not see each other very often. It was a difficult trip because my brother is not a Christian, but I had a body of believers back home praying for me and my time there. I worked on my walk with the Lord during this trip because it was hard being gone for so long.

7) After my trip to the coast, I made my way back to Iowa in time to leave for the annual Faithwalkers conference. I was sure that I was not going to make it back because of weather, but the Lord was watching out for me. This was my fourth year at the conference and the Lord really challenged me this year. One of the speakers talked about commitments and sticking to them. I was very challenged and during a break, I went and spent time with the Lord in prayer over a commitment that I was having a hard time making. Let's just say that the Lord won out and I have stuck to that commitment since I made it.

8) One last thing, I have been super blessed this year by the way the Lord provides. Almost every time I get to a point where I don't think He is going to provide, he shows me a way and provides. One of these things is working on getting a license and I am very blessed to have friends who are willing to teach me and help me out. The Lord is a great God and he has shown up in so many ways.

That is all for now! Enjoy the great weather.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Used To Do It Too

The past week, this song has been going through my head and I really like it a lot. I have really been challenged this month to just be thankful for what I have and how much of a challenge it is to be thankful. I used to complain all the time and did not want to be thankful always. I think that
I need to challenge others.