Friday, April 27, 2012


Yes, I have a 25 page proposal to be working on right now.
Yes, I have phone calls to make.
Yes, I have errands to run.

But here I am looking through blogs and enjoying a lazy Friday morning. :)
It makes me want to go shopping, order Warby Parker glasses and a new pair of TOMS, and to just get away for a bit. Unfortunately, those things require money - and, as a grad student, there's not a whole lot of that. ;)

Just have to remember to enjoy the simple things in life. He is faithful.

Okay, time to get going and try to finish this semester off well!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Belated Easter.

Wow. Life has been up and down over the last month.

Two weeks ago my friends Chelsea, Angela, and I moved into a 3-bedroom little house! It has been sooo nice to come home everyday to a house rather than an apartment. The Lord sure worked it out smoothly ... and we are super thankful for what we have. Pictures to come when we get everything settled. :)

Then, last weekend, my sister had surgery. Major surgery. I was really nervous about it - and I let my anxiety take over my whole life. I was not acting like myself for basically the whole month of March. I was extremely easily irritated. I was not sleeping much. I was so, so worried. And none of that helped her surgery go smoothly; although, praise the Lord, her surgery went amazingly well! She's off of work for 3-4 weeks, but I am amazed at how well she is doing even a week after. SO amazed. God has been soooooo kind and gracious and merciful in letting her surgery go so well. I only pray that she will have the endurance and strength to do what she needs to do in order to keep progressing.

Not to mention my mom had pneumonia, I had a crappy cold - PLUS SCHOOL. And work. Yes, it's been crazy. And I wasted a lot of energy worrying, worrying, worrying. I feel like, after all that God has taught me about worry, I should be better at NOT doing it - but I responded terribly to these trials and difficulties. Time with Him was the first thing to go - even though He is what I need most. Do you ever feel like you just fail God miserably? Like when things are going well, you think, "Lord, no matter what happens, I know I will find joy and peace in You." And then something bad does happen (or could happen), and you are more insecure, scared, and immature than you thought possible. Usually during trials, I do learn to cling more tightly to Christ -- but, for some reason, this time I felt so much more numb inside. I was still praying and begging Him to have mercy on us, especially with my sister's surgery. But I was just so out of it. I felt so lost and out-of-whack.

But I continue to find great hope in the fact that my salvation does not depend on my attitude. My salvation depends on GOD. My heart belongs to Him; the Holy Spirit is my guarantee of what is to come, the down payment. Praise God that He is greater than my sin! Praise God that He loves me even when I am so unlovable. Praise God that He knows me - my heart, my mind, my soul - and knows what I need to get through all things. I praise Him for his constant presence and care. When I am in the deepest pit, I am never beyond His reach. He holds onto me; He sustains me. GLORY TO GOD FOR HIS INCOMPREHENSIBLE LOVE!

I have still been in a bit of a funk since Ashley's surgery, but after being home with family this weekend for Easter, I am feeling a lot better - a lot more like myself. Praise God for that, too. I hope that normalcy sets back in as I go back to P-town and spend time with my roomies again. And as I finish up the final month of the spring semester (so much to get done!).

In addition to all of my responsibilities with school (plus time spent at work), I want to start gardening. My mom, sister, and I discussed several different types of veggies I could try as a newbie gardener. I'm very excited to grow some of my own food! I'm hoping to start a few (or all) of the following: tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, carrots, peas, green beans, potatoes...

May you know the Lord's presence and delight in you today.


Praise the LORD.
   I will extol the LORD with all my heart 
   in the council of the upright and in the assembly.

 Great are the works of the LORD; 
   they are pondered by all who delight in them. 
Glorious and majestic are his deeds, 
   and his righteousness endures forever. 
He has caused his wonders to be remembered; 
   the LORD is gracious and compassionate. 
He provides food for those who fear him; 
   he remembers his covenant forever.

He has shown his people the power of his works, 
   giving them the lands of other nations. 
The works of his hands are faithful and just; 
   all his precepts are trustworthy. 
They are established for ever and ever, 
   enacted in faithfulness and uprightness. 
He provided redemption for his people; 
   he ordained his covenant forever— 
   holy and awesome is his name.

 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; 
   all who follow his precepts have good understanding. 
   To him belongs eternal praise.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Reflections on 2011.

As usual, I am greatly encouraged by Beth Moore's words, particularly her challenge to reflect on the past year - the ups and downs that have come along and how God has shown His faithfulness through each situation. I have been seriously journaling for about 9 years now and have filled about 35 diaries. It is one of the most meaningful things to look back and remember the trials, the questions, the joys, the tears, the laughs that came along the way. I can't say enough how good God is to have walked with me - and how His lovingkindness rescued me over and over. Instead of going through all my journals, I decided to take a look at my pictures from the past year and try to sum up 2011 ...

JANUARY :: beginning of the end of undergrad
Explored Kankakee a bit more...

Found a little bookstore in Peoria...

Took a photography class - really enjoyed it.
Had two snow days and got really bored. ;)

Celebrated Christmas a little late with the family, including new baby Greta :)

Went dancing :)

Had friends over for a soup & game night!

Went to Ashley's in NW Indiana for the Superbowl

March :: a grrreeaattt month!

Had an amazing Roomie Spring Break trip to Arizona - wonderful memories.

Most amazing [early] graduation gift ever: my dream car, a MINI COOPER!

Taking all of my friends around in it... :)


Dog-sitting Arwen for friends

Amy Jo's bridal shower!!

Easter with the fam

5k & breakfast with friends

Roomie love <3

Made the wall at the library. Reppin' ONU.

May :: the month of many "lasts"

Saying goodbye to work friends from school

Last small group at Calvary

Line dancing with friends!

Senior trip to the Brookfield Zoo

Tania & me with Dr. B!

Senior Banquet

Angela got her nursing pin!

Good times with dear friends

Graduation Day!!!!

Party time with family & friends!

On the job hunt....


Trip to LeClaire, IA to visit the American Pickers!

Abby's baby shower for Adelyn Mae :)

Moved into an apartment with Chelsea

First day of graduate school!

4th of July :)

First summer in Peoria : exploring

Amy Jo's bachelorette party and WEDDING!

Trip to South Carolina :)


Another trip to LeClaire... :)


Fall activities like Chicago's Renegade Craft Fair & Tanner's Orchard


Visiting friends :)


My 23rd birthday celebrated by doing 23 Random Acts of Kindness

Celebrated my niece Greta's 1st birthday!

Threw my parents a  Surprise 25th Wedding Anniversary Party

Ugly Sweater Christmas Parties, etc.

As I got an iPhone later in 2011, I took more photos on my phone and don't really have the time to upload them all now. But this is a pretty exhaustive record of my year. It truly was a good one, despite the tears of goodbyes and the fear of starting new. God is good.