Friday, October 2, 2009

A Heart that is trying to seek Him

Wow! It has been so long since I have blogged. I have had several people ask me what is going on, and well life has just been happening. It always seems that I want to blog, but yet do not have time to do it. Well, today, I got up early and took a friend to the airport, and decided that instead of going back to sleep, that I would take advantage of being awake and pour my heart into my blog. I hope you are ready for this, because this is going to be quite an intricate blog. I hope to be quite honest about all things going on in my life. I have not blogged since last March..thus I have about 7 months to fill you in on! I'm currently sitting outside, in 50degree weather, with a blanket wrapped around me and a cup of coffee sitting by my, I'll pause here and let you go get a cup of coffee so that you can sip on some coffee goodness while you read about all that the Lord is and has been doing in my life. . .

Here is a quick overview of the last 7 months, and I will go more in depth on things I feel have been significant :

March-May- I was finishing up my semester at Grace University, and continued to work at HyVee.
May-August- I enjoyed the summer, with a few trips up to Wisconsin to see Alex, and continued to work at HyVee.
August- I began my last semester of my college career! : ) Woohoo! Alex and I decided to end our relationship. I started helping with an English conversation class and still worked at HyVee. I also went on a 4,400 mile roadtrip in my little black car with 2 friends! We went through SD, WY, MT, ID, WA, OR, UT, CO, IA, NE---it was an amazingly fun trip filled with lifelong memories!!

September-October- Still school, work, class, and just living!

(The pictures below are from our roadtrip halfway across America) :)
This is Todd, Lindsey, and I in Portland, Oregon. Lindsey (my roommate) and I drove to out to the west coast, and ended up having Todd ( a teammate from our Mali EDGE team) ride back with us to Nebraska! Todd grew up in Oregon, and so we were able to meet some of his family, and he planned a few days of our trip in Oregon..we were able to go to the Pacific Ocean during our time in OR.

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Ok!! So here we go, life for me these days has been extremely busy. I just keep telling myself that it is only for this chapter in life that I will be as busy as I am. My week begins on Mondays with classes starting in the morning and ending at 9pm. Tuesdays, I work at the coffee shop at school, then have class, and then work at HyVee at night. Wednesdays, I have classes in the morning and afternoon, and then help with an English Conversation Class at Christ Community Church, in Omaha, NE. Thursdays, I work in the coffee shop at school, and then have classes until 10pm (one class being in Elkhorn, NE- which is about a 30 minute drive from where I live) Then, comes Friday and Saturday- I work both days and try to find time in there to do some homework or spend time with friends! Sundays, I also work, and have church in the evening! So, with all that said, my life is quite busy right now...I'm trying to find the balance- how to make time for my roommate, and minister to my friends, yet pay my bills and finish up my LAST semester of college!! It has been a struggle, especially as of late!

Hmm.. Well, my classes this Fall have been going quite well! I am having a hard time keeping up with my online class, but seem to be doing okay in my other classes. I keep telling myself I need to perservere, because this IS my last semester!! : ) I have been taking a class at Metro Community College on Thursday nights, and that will be done in Novemeber, which will free up one night for me..I am looking forward to that! All of my other Grace classes will be done on December 10th! So, basically I have 2 months of college left! Can I get a "WOOHOO?" : )

Just this last month I got promoted at HyVee and I am now an assistant manager! I am in training now, and am loving every minute! I started working for HyVee in May of 2001, and have always wanted to pursue management, and have now been given a chance! Although, along with this opportunity comes alot of responsibility and expectations, thus I am working atleast 32 hours week, which is actually proving to turn itself into about 36 hours or so..thus, work is keeping me really busy! They have told me that after I finish with my classes in December, if I'd like to go fulltime, that will probably be a possibility! Which will potentially help with paying off school loans! : ) So, we will see what happens in the months to come...I never thought that I'd stay with HyVee as long as I have, but God continues to open doors for me at HyVee and so I cannot get away! HyVee just has a special place in my heart : )
Ok, well about the relationship status..Alex and I decided to end our relationship back in August. Many things had changed and decisions had to be made, and neither of us had peace about continuing on in the relationship, and thus we ended it. Since then, I feel like I have been able to attempt to refocus on my relationship with God. It seemed to have been pushed back a little with my focus being on someone else, but I am trying to getting it back on the Lord. I am thankful for Alex and for what our relationship taught me and how it helped me grow in different areas. So, now I am working on falling more in love with my Savior! It is proving to be difficult, because it seems that my time is so easily filled with other things or other people, so I am trying to be intentional about spending time with Him. Considering He has never put me on the back burner or just pushed me aside, as I do with Him sometimes, I feel like I should be desiring to spend more time with Him. I want to want to desire Him..I want to want to love like Him..I want to have my heart broken by the things that break His heart. I want to want to be so in love with Him! I am on a journey of pursuing Him. (I just recently heard the song 'Hosanna' by Hillsong United for the first time, below are some of lyrics from the chorus..I love this song- it is quite challenging to me..
"Heal my heart and make it clean Open up my eyes to the things unseen Show me how to love like you have loved me Break my heart from what breaks yours Everything I am for your kingdoms cause As I go from nothing to Eternity"


-I am now just trying to get through December, finish up with school, and looking forward to spending some time with family at Thanksgiving and at Christmas! Although, I know that after December some things in my life will change. In some ways I am quite excited about all the potential changes that lie ahead, yet in some ways I'm a bit anxious, because I have no control over them! I have learned that in life there is no need for me to plan, because when I begin to plan, God changes things! : ) Thus, this time around, I am hoping to just wait on Him and see what doors He is going to open! Although, I know I just said that I am not going to is what I will probably be doing until He leads me elsewhere.. After I graduate in December, I will extend my apartment lease until June, and my roommate and I will continue to live in Council Bluffs, IA (which is where I have been living since January 2009) I plan to continue to work at HyVee as a manager, and just continue to save money to pay off college loans. Without all of the school workload on me, I may work 2 jobs, just to try to pay off loans faster, but only time will tell! I am kind of looking forward to being able to just save money, versus paying to live...

I do still have thoughts of Mali, West Africa..I do not know what the future holds or what His plans include, or even who they include, but I do know that I want Him to lead me. I was talking to some friends on skype this morning that attended the same language school in France, who work with Campus Crusade for Christ. They just asked me to prayerfully consider joining their team going to the Ivory Coast in August 2010.. I hadn't talked with them in quite awhile, thus them presenting this opportunity kind of made me left me thinking, "Really, God?" So, I do not know what comes next. I will continue to try to lean on Him for everything. I want to pursue His will for my life. I want to lay down all of my desires and just truly and passionately pursue Him. Sometimes, I feel alone..I miss being in a relationship, I miss having someone hold me, I miss feeling special; it creates a desire within me to pursue other relationships, when in reality when the surface of my heart is scraped away, I know that all I need is Jesus. So, this is what I am pursuing now..I am praying to pursue Him and Him ALONE! I am asking Him to help me put all of my desires by the wayside and trust Him. I want to lay down my pride and love those around me with the love He has for me. I want to want Him. I pray that I can begin to see people the way He does, and that that will create within me a desire to serve them and not myself. I want to die to myself and 'do' something for Him. I want to 'be' for Him.

. . . So, there you have life up to date! : ) I hope to keep up with my blog, and will try to be more intentional with it!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

. .Awestruck. .

"The Heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands." Psalm 19:1

Have you ever found something so beautiful and so majestic that you could just stand in one spot and look at it forever? Something so amazing that it takes your breath away? Something that makes tears flow freely, just because it is so magnificent? This weekend, I was again reminded of how much camp means to me. Right now I am up in Westboro, WI, visiting Alex : ) He is interning at Camp Forest Springs, in Westboro, WI, until May. I've realized that camp has an affect on me. Something about being in a place where everyone is serving one another and truly building each other up, all the while loving the is so sweet. There has been numerous times this weekend when I found myself at a stand still. I found myself looking out across a frozen lake, gazing up at a sky full of stars, looking out the window at the snow lightly falling upon the ground- I love it. I am so thankful that I serve such an awesome God. He has created it all, and it seems that so often I forget to just stop and be still and stand in awe of Him and His creation. This weekend has a been a wonderful time for that. I pray that as I go back to good ol' Nebraska tomorrow, I will be constantly reminded to take time to appreciate God's goodness. Weekends, such as this one, make me wish I could stay in a place like this forever. Constantly being surrounded in love by other believers desiring to serve the Lord and being smothered in love by the Lord and His breath-taking creation.

I wanted to share the lyrics from a song that has become quite precious to me as of late. It has been a wonderful reminder of God's faithfulness through ALL things. We must wait upon Him and lay our requests before Him- and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5:3) God is faithful. I am going to wait upon the Lord, because I know that His plans are greater than my own. "I say to the Lord, "You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing." -Psalm 16:2. I am nothing without Him. Thank you Lord for opening my eyes and my heart to You. Thank you for being faithful and for loving me despite my shortcomings.

While I'm John Waller

I’m waiting I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait
I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting I will worship
While I’m waitingI will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait
I’m waiting I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it’s not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting on You, Lord

A few weeks ago, I heard a song on the radio, and it brought tears to my eyes..and this morning I just found the song- here are the lyrics to it : ) What a beautiful song.
By Your Tenth Avenue North
Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don't turn away
Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you runchorus
And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you
Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world's sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life
Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I'll never let you go

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Attempting to wait upon the Lord. . . while in the midst of a construction zone..

Life is happening. Things are changing everyday, it seems that most things never stay the same. I need to learn to accept that. Change can be a wonderful thing. It helps us stay in tune with God. I belive that He can use changes to shape us and make us more like Him. It is so hard for me to try to live for Him daily, yet think and plan for the future. Knowing that God can change things tomorrow, makes it hard for ME to plan : ) How funny is it that I still haven't grabbed the concept of letting God write my story..I feel that this will be a lesson I will never fully understand! I'm so grateful that He is patient with me. I do not know what my future holds, I'm not even sure I know what direction it is going in. This makes it difficult for me, because I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be doing, thus I must wait upon the Lord, yet that seems to be a challenge for me. Waiting has never been an easy thing for me, especially because I love to plan, but obviously you can tell by reading what I have just written, God is definitely doing some work within me. It seems as though my life is like a construction zone. I am under construction, it is going to take time to repair and fix some things in my life, as well as take time to build up some new areas. "Driving with caution" and "Slowing down" will both be necessary in order to not cause more of a delay in the construction time. Although, I will always be in somewhat of a construcion zone, knowing that God will always be working on me, if I allow Him, I am excited to see what His plans are for me and excited to see what new roads He builds for me. Please pray for me as I seek His will for my life and pray that I remember to slow down, so as not to delay His work process : )

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A New Direction

I never really know where to begin. It has been almost 2 months since I have written an update on the happenings of my life, so you can only imagine the endless stories I have to tell :) Don’t worry, I will try to be brief, ha ;) God has been quite active in my life since my return from France, and I must say that He has brought several changes into my life once again; changes that are proving to be major blessings in my life thus far!

I returned from France on December 23rd, and was able to spend Christmas with my entire family, which was wonderful I love being with my family, I’ve been blessed. Following Christmas, I moved into an apartment in Council Bluffs, IA. I am currently located about 15 minutes from Grace University :) I am living with Lindsey Dyer, she was part of my Mali, West Africa team. We have a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment, which allows us to have our own space :) Things have been going wonderfully well for the two of us. God is blessing our relationship with one another, and allowing us to have a place to open up for ministry. Currently we have people over every Sunday for food and fellowship, which has been wonderful! I love having my own place, and I love having Lindsey as a roommate. God is good!

I am currently taking 19 credit hours at Grace University, still studying Intercultural Studies/Relations. The projected plan is for me to graduate in December 2009. I am quite excited about that! After graduation, I have no idea what God has planned, but I know that I just have to keep walking with Him and He will guide me in the right direction! :) Most of my classes this semester have been quite challenging, which is helping me view life in a different light. I am loving Grace University and thankful for the professors who are investing in my life.

Just this last Friday, I was at the airport at 6am to see the Mali EDGE 2009 team off. They left to head to Mali for 6 months. I’m not going to lie, that was a bit difficult for me, because I would love to return to Mali, in fact, I thought that I was, but God has changed some directions in my life. Instead of returning to Mali, I will be staying Stateside until further notice, and God is still taming my heart on this issue. I know that He can see the bigger picture and that He knows best, so I need to trust Him and wait upon Him. So whether or not Mali is in my future or not, or even if overseas service is in the future, I am not sure, but one thing I am sure of is that I am seeking Him and His will and know that if I stay in Him, He will lead. So, please be praying for me as I continue to seek His will!

In regards to the change of pace/direction/ everything :) God has lead one of my friendships to blossom into a relationship. My good friend Alex Schubert and I are now pursuing a God-honoring relationship. Over the last 2 years, I have gotten to know Alex as a friend and have seen Him grow in his relationship with God. He stayed in contact with me while I was in Mali, as well as during my time in France. Although there has always been a distance between us, he has always been encouraging and has challenged my walk with the Lord. He is currently fulfilling an internship at Camp Forest Springs in Wisconsin, and will be there until May, so our relationship continues at a distance. Just as the Lord has enabled our friendship to grow despite the distance that has always existed between us, we trust that with the new direction our relationship has taken, He will faithfully continue to work in our lives growing us closer together and closer to Him. Although I do not know what the future holds, I know that as long as we both keep pursuing His will, He will guide us in the right direction. I would like to ask that you pray for Alex and me, as we have entered into a relationship that we hope will honor the Lord in all that we do. We both have hearts that desire to serve the Lord, and pray that He will allow our relationship to positively impact the lives of others! :)

Well, that is the long, yet brief update of my life :) haha..I hope to be able to spend more time keeping up with my blog, as I anticipate many changes ahead! Thanks for all of your support and for keeping up with me! May God bless you and continue to show Himself to you in ways you have never seen!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Quick Update

Hey Everyone! I am home and back in the States...I've been home for about a week now, but have been busy running around. Today, I am in the process of moving into an apartment down in Council Bluffs, IA..about 10-15 minutes from my university. So, needless to say I dont have much time, but wanted to let everyone know I made it back safely, I am in one piece for now : ) I will give a more detailed update as soon as I can, until then may you all have a Happy New Year and may you continue to remember the true reason for the season- Jesus! : )

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The key to my heart <3

Janna, Micah, and new baby girl, Aila

Novemeber was a crazy month for me. Not only was I furiously working on my online classes for the States, trying to find an apartment for my return, planning a Thanksgiving meal for 50+ ppl, but I was also trying to study French : ) Oh boy, those of you who know me well, know that I tend to take on too many things at one time, and have a hard time saying no- well, it seems that I can still not say NO even when in a different country : ) Despite that, all is and went well!
I have one of two of my online classes all done - praise the Lord! : ) I will be finishing up the other class this week.

As far as the apartment, I believe that I have found one- I also found a roommate- she was one of my teammates from Africa :) so that will be wonderful- I'll know for sure about the apt. after the 15th of December- if it all works out, we will move in January 1-2 :) I am super excited, because this will be my first apartment and it just sounds perfect! We will see! : )

The Thanksgiving meal went AMAZINGLY well :) I will post some pictures on here from our American Thankgsiving in France : ) I love organizing things, so I sent out invitations to all the families here at the school and all the staff, and then ordered turkeys, assigned food dishes, decorated, etc...and everything turned out wonderfully! Thanksgiving came and went quite quickly. There were about 55-60 people, we all stood in a big circle and shared one thing we were thankful for, before we ate. It was truly a special day! It was also special, because the Americans were able to share our holiday with families from Holland, England, Korea, and France. I believe a wonderful time was had by all, it is always a good time when the body of Christ comes together and fellowships : )

The last Saturday in November, I went with the church here in Albertville, up into the mountains. Every year they distribute calendars that have verses on them- they go to door to the houses up in the mountains handing out these calendars. Some people wait all year to receive the calendars! : ) It was an amazing experience. The group I was with got invited into many homes, where we drank coffee, cider, and wine(a traditional French practice) We also ate cookies, etc. It is an amazing one day outreach, most people were quite thankful and very welcoming. We were able to share God's love with them! After we came back down from the mountains, the group I was with went over to my teacher's house *French teacher*( Her husband was in the group I was with) We went over to their house and had cheese and cider(also a French tradition) It was wonderful! : ) The French cheese is starting to grow on me! After that I went back to my home, took a quick nap, and then someone picked me up to go to another family's house for supper. I ate supper with an older couple from the church, we had a special soup, crepes, and special cookies. Wow- what a meal! : ) It was again, more wonderful fellowship time, as well as French practice! : ) Needless to say, I had no problems falling asleep that night!!

Just this last week, Sharon and I went to visit our friend, Janna. She had a baby back in October, and was expecting visitors this weekend- her parents were/are coming from Argentina for about a month. Janna is an MK. She actually came to the school where Sharon and I, met her husband during her time here, and married at the end of her studies. She and her husband, Laurent, now live in a city about 30 minutes from where I live. They are an amazing family, they have 2 little boys (2 and 4) and a new baby girl : ) Their story of how they met, fell in love, and decided to continue to pursue Christ together, is very encouraging. So, Ive taken advantage of the time I can spend with Janna, because she has been very encouraging during my time here. Anyway, all that to say- this last week, Sharon and I went and visited them. We stayed overnight and helped her do some cleaning and helped her prepare for her parents' arrival. She taught me how to make a traditional French dish, which if I can find the ingredients in the States, I will definitely try to make- you'd be more than welcome to try it, if I can make it- just let me know : )

Hmm... what else.... Yesterday I finally finished writing the papers for my Intro to Linguistics class, and after that I made 4 different kinds of cookies for the all the families here : ) That was my way of celebrating the finish of one class- and I will start to work on finishing the other class today : ( Last night was the official lightening ceremony of all the Christmas lights here in Albertville. They actually turn off all the lights in one place, and have a little ceremony and then all of the lights come on at once : ) It was beautiful. They also had fireworks- and believe it or not..Pere Noel (Santa Claus) came to France- I saw him : ) I'll post a little video clip of him coming! ; ) There were several hundreds of people who were there for the lighting festival and afterwards there was free chocolat chaud and vin chaud. Free hot chocolate and hot wine. : ) It was wonderful. After all the several of us girls came back to our house, and then I made a late supper for all of us. It was the French dish that Janna taught me to make- I believe everyone enjoyed it! : )
Well, I do believe that has you mostly up to date with all that has been going on with me : ) The countdown has truly begun- I leave the school 2 weeks from today, and fly out two weeks from tomorrow!! I cannot believe how quickly my time here has gone. So much more than just learning French has happened in my life. God has definitely been at work on my heart. I know that when I return home, many changes will lay ahead. I will be starting my 2nd to last semester of college, moving into a new apartment, finding a new job, etc. My future is unknown to me, but known to the Lord- so I must walk by faith and trust that He will lead me!

Psalm 37:4-7 "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your ways to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this; He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him. "

I will definitely be clinging to Him as I look into the future. I must let Him hold the key to my heart. As I continue to daily give Him my control, I continue to fall more and more in love with Him. He is the author of my faith, no matter how busy things get, or no matter how many things fill up my life and my heart, the True Owner of my heart is the Lord. He holds the key to my heart, and for that I am so thankful.

- The video clip of Pere Noel (Santa Claus)- He came to France! : )

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My 100th Post : )

Well, here is a sneak peek of what it looked like here last week! We had a good snow one night, I keep hoping I'll wake up and there will be more- we will see, weather is predicting more snow soon!! : ) (I am whispering in the film, because-Sharon, who lives next door, was still sleeping) : )