April 30, 2012

a little bit of everything

this weeks tour...a little bit of this and a little bit of that
Sometimes I know exactly what to write.
Sometimes I am not so sure, but end up figuring something out.
Today I have no idea! (nothing has been laid on my heart to share)
So...this was my week
1. Received the best gift. (my good friend B gave me all his worship music so I could add it to my iPod, so I would have plenty to listen to while I am away)
2. I was sick in bed for two days. (literally did not move and slept almost the entire time!)
3. When I went back to work, the kiddos were SO excited to see me! Made me happy and sad. (they do not know that I will not be back next year)
4. My great-grandma turned 92! (she planned her own surprise party! and still surprised herself-I guess that will happen when your that age!)
5. Dinner with the girls. (man oh man am I going to miss them!)
Well...that is all I have to say.
Thank you Jesus for free music, rest, being missed by the kiddos, birthdays, and amazing friends! oh and for loving me just as I am!

April 23, 2012

warm weather makes me happy

this weeks tour...beautiful outdoors (I am going to miss Colorado!)
The spring weather has been wonderful, it is making me even more excited for summer weather! (which I will soon enjoy 365 days a year!)
I love hiking.
I went on my first hike of the season, to my all time favorite place in Colorado: Chautauqua Park.
going to miss this awesome place!
hmm...thinking of what to write on my blog 
me and my mommy! 
Hiking is when I feel closest to Jesus. Spending time in His creation helps me to be so thankful for everything He has given me.
I will miss hiking with my mom.
I will miss hiking with friends.
I will now have the chance to hike a volcano! (super exciting new adventure to add to my long list of hikes I would like to accomplish)
I am enjoying every day to the fullest up to the time I leave. (I have started a countdown, but I will not officially begin one until I get my travel info which should be arriving any day now-ahh!)
Thank you Jesus for a beautiful place to live!
*pictures courtesy of my dear friend B* (Thanks B!)

April 16, 2012

island time

this weeks tour...trust
I like when my life is predictable.
But that is not how things usually work when you give your life to the Lord.
I am learning to go with the flow, or as they will say in FSM 'island time.'
April 15
"Trust Me, and don't be afraid. Many things feel out of control. Your routines are not running smoothly. You tend to feel more secure when your life is predictable. Let Me lead you to the rock that is higher than you and your circumstances. Take refuge in the shelter of My wings, where you are absolutely secure. When you are shaken out of your comfortable routines, grip My hand tightly and look for growth opportunities. Instead of bemoaning the loss of your comfort, accept the challenge of something new. I lead you on from glory to glory, making you fit for My kingdom. Say yes to the ways I work in your life. Trust Me, and don't be afraid.
by Sarah Young
I am gripping His hand tighter than you could imagine.
I am saying yes to the things He is asking me to do.
I am trusting Him.
I am filled with the love of Jesus in my heart. 
I am ready.

April 9, 2012

Holy Week

this weeks tour...love and sacrifice
He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!
Happy Easter everyone!
I find great joy in this day more than any other day of the year, why?
He is Risen!
It is so amazing (and sometimes a hard concept as humans to grasp) that God loves us so much He would sacrifice His Only Son...
I have not always put God first in my life. Over the last year and a half, something in my heart has been awakened. 
Love...more specifically Agape love (agape is the Greek word for love, the essence of agape love is self-sacrifice. It is love which is of and from God, whose very nature is love itself) 
I have tried to make God a priority, but trying is not always enough...only in the last few months have I been pursuing God with all my heart. (and what an amazing journey it has been!)
Many times, as a Christian, I have felt it is my duty to do certain things...read the Bible, pray, help others, etc.
That is not what a relationship with Jesus is all about. He wants us to want to be with Him, because we genuinely want to.
"Duty will never take you where love will" (Feel by Matthew Elliott)
I now have a passion and deep desire to want to grow my relationship with Jesus.
"His demand is for extravagant love, passion coming from the heart."(Feel by Matthew Elliott)
God has opened my heart to feel and know Agape love...I no longer think of those things as a duty (well truthfully sometimes I still do-but it is becoming less and less), but I passionately long to do those things with all my heart to become closer with Him.
"God had converted my little duty-driven pity party into a spontaneous act of real love."(Feel by Matthew Elliott)
There is never a right time or a wrong time, just God's time. In His perfect timing, I have become more of who I am in Christ. A passion in my heart has been released, it was always there, God was just waiting for me to realize and respond to it.
That is what happened to me in Haiti...Agape love.
Through this experience I have grown to know the Lord more each day, and I can not contain my excitement!
I want to live my life fully for Him.
I have always had a heart for others, I just never knew what God wanted me to do with it.
He asked me to follow Him. I accepted. 
I have Agape love in my heart...what more could He ask of me? 
Then...He asked me to follow Him to another country. I accepted. (I am afraid, but I accepted and know that obeying Him is what I want to do)
He asked me to sacrifice my life to Him, just as He sacrificed His Son for me. (whoa! really!? that is what you want me to do!? after many prayers...I knew in my heart that I was going to be obedient and accepted) 
Now my life has been turned upside down (or is it right side up?) 
I am sacrificing my current 'life', for the life God intended for me. 
Of course some of those things are material-like the comfort of my home, bed, shower, food...and all I know as of now that I currently call 'my life.'
'My life' has never been mine, it has always been God's. It has taken me 26 years to give it back to its Creator. (after all...it is all I have to give Him)
I now have a tangible connection with sacrifice. (I will never fully understand the sacrifice God made with His Son, but at least I can relate it to something) I am giving up all I have ever known my life to be...for the unknown future-God's plan for my life.
I am so over joyed that all I ever want to do is be in constant communion with God. I pray more than I ever have, I read the Bible, I do daily devotions...everything I do is to create a stronger relationship with my Creator...I love Him so much I can not get enough!
I pray this Holy Week that everyone would know and feel the love (Agape) that God has for us, His creation.
"In human experience that veil is made of living spiritual tissues; it is composed of the sentient, quivering stuff of which our whole being consist, and to touch it is to touch us where we feel pain. To tear it away is to injure us, to hurt us and make us bleed. To say otherwise is to make the cross no cross and death no death at all. It is never fun to die. To rip through the dear and tender stuff of which life is made can never be anything but deeply painful. Yet that is what the cross did to Jesus and it is what the cross would do to every man to set him free."..."It does not keep its victim hanging there forever. There comes a moment when its work is finished and the suffering victim dies. After that is resurrection glory and power, and the pain is forgotten for the joy that the veil is taken away and we have entered in actual spiritual experience the presence of the living God." (The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer)
Remember the cross and what it stands for, God's Agape love.
May you feel the agape love of God on this beautiful Easter!

April 2, 2012

road trip

this weeks tour...family
For spring break we took our last family vacation.
We went to Missouri to visit my mom's side of the family. Also so I could say good-bye to everyone there before I leave.
It was a great trip!
Hard to say good-bye...but if I think about it I usually see them every two years anyways...so when I am gone it will be a semi-normal length of time before I see them again. (makes it just a little easier to think about the amount of time I will be gone)
Here were some of our adventures...
We went on a hike at the Springfield nature center.
me and my grandpa
my mom and her dad
the family
 Playing with my grandpa's 'toys'. (we all took turns on the 4-wheeler and tractor)
digging some dirt with the tractor (yes, I am wearing a skirt!)

my mom on the 4-wheeler

Walking around downtown.
the family
Family Rock Band!

the family

We even went through old pictures...(taking pictures of pictures is hard)
me and my grandpa
my grandma when she was younger

My grandma was a beautiful woman. I know she is looking down from Heaven and very proud of what I am going to do. 
Me and my grandpa have always celebrated our birthdays together because they are only a few days apart. This was on my 1st birthday, and of course being his funny self has the extinguisher for all his candles!
My cousin made this for me. (Thank you Aaron!)
my gift for my adventure
He wanted to make me something special for my trip. He is very artistic and talented. (he did not know that green was my favorite color or that amethyst is my birthstone...guess God let him know, I love how God has been in even the smallest of details while preparing me for my adventure)

This is my family...of course for one of our last family pictures everyone has to be normal (normal for us is having a good time and being silly!)
my family
I know I will be sad when I leave my family...but I know that they love me and support me and will always be praying for me!