Wednesday, December 31, 2008

happy new year!


~this radical outfit was created by me a few hours before the event... you may not see it... but my hair is crimped! amazing!~


~the party animals~


~what a tubular time we had~


~groovy goodies and bodacious beverages~


~me and my besties~


to welcome in 2009 we decided to have an 80s party. i always love a reason to dress up and have fun with friends. it was fantastic. we looked totally tubular. awesome dude! it was like the best like time i have like had in like a really long like time! we played apples to apples. had delicious organic reisling wine. and watched the ball drop in time square then the "bitchin" fireworks at the space needle. fun time with friends were had. uber wunderbar!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Christmas

This Christmas was extra special because my sister was in town with all of my nieces. As many of you know... my family is a bit scattered. In more ways than just location. Together my sis and nieces and my mom went to get a Christmas tree. Then they came back and I got to help them put up the tree and decorate it. I have missed having a live tree for the past couple years. The smell was intoxicating and induced years of Christmas memories at the first wiff. It was so special watching the girls decorate the Christmas tree and lifting them up high to place ornaments on the branches at the top of the tree. Christmas through the eyes of a child is something so unique. We also had fun projects to work on each day. There were Christmas door hangers, Christmas reindeer, Christmas cookies, and so much more! I received precious hand written notes from the girls too. They just blessed my socks off! Christmas day after opening presents my sis took Natalie to the ER because of an infection on her face (thought it was a spider bite gone bad) and the rest of us girls stayed home and did pedicures. They were so adorable! We filled up a giant plastic tub and sat on chairs (little Mea -3- sat on a garbage bin) and we all stuck our feet in the the warm water. They squealed and giggled with delight... and so did I! So fun! I think pedicures should be a regular part of Christmas! What a joy to spend so much time with family this Christmas! I watched more Christmas movies than ever before. Camped out on my moms couch nursing a cold and an ear infection. It helped me get some much needed down time I suppose. I am so thankful for my family this Christmas. What a happy Christmas it was!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

St Nicholas Surprise

I was coming to terms with my brother Nick being in Florida this Christmas when he called and told me that he wanted to come home. We decided that it should be a surprise for my mom and didn't tell because then she would be extra excited coming to find out that all of her kids would be home for Christmas this year.
So my brother got a flight out of West Palm Beach, Florida on the Sunday before Christmas. His connecting flight in St. Paul Minnesota to Seattle was canceled because of all the snow that blanketed the northwest thus shutting down the airport. Nick was stuck in St. Paul with no money. After staying the night in the airport and being given gifts of food by strangers he got on a midnight flight to Las Vegas... getting him a little closer to home. After arriving there he asked to be placed on standby on all flights to Seattle or Portland. That morning he was seated on a plane to Seattle and before they left the terminal they bumped him off the flight. bummer. he was back to waiting. hours later he got on a flight to Portland. trying to work out how we were going to drive to get him in Portland was nearly impossible. the weather in Portland was worse than Seattle. so dad bought him a train ticket. his flight would get in at 3:30pm and his train was scheduled to depart at 4:25pm. The train station was 45 minutes away from the airport. It would be a close call. His flight got in on time and with money from a kind stranger on his last flight he found his way to the bus station and got on a bus to the train station. He arrived at the train station at 5:40pm. Low and behold the train was delayed two hours. His train was the only train leaving the station to Tacoma... and it just happened to be delayed enough that he would be able to catch it home! Nick was picked up in Tacoma by my dad a little after 10pm on the evening of the 22nd. It took four planes, a bus, a train, and my dad... to get him home for Christmas.
The next day (the 23rd) was my moms birthday. She woke up still not knowing that my brother was home. He slept in the back bedroom at her house where she thought I was sleeping. Though he had a deep cough that she heard... I was fighting a cold so she just thought my cough had gotten REALLY bad.
My sis showed up to the house about 10am with her kids in tow and yelled to mom as she entered the house... did you get your present yet?! did you get your present yet!!? Mom was confused and said... what are you talking about? sis spilled the beans and said... Nick! mom turned around in the hallway and was immediately embraced by her birthday present. Nick was home for her birthday and would be there for Christmas too! what a fun surprise! It is so wonderful to have Nick home!

Monday, December 15, 2008

faithful to complete it


This has been the hardest quarter of my college education thus far. hence the lack of blogging and the lack of spending time doing anything other than studying hours upon hours. I am so in awe of all the happened this quarter. God brought me through a time of trusting Him for provision. I saw all of my college expenses get paid for including books. He also brought some unique friendships through classmates. I was challenged to grasp so much information at a time and yet felt like I was able to give back and share my testimony with my new study buddies. Amazing. This quarter I took Anatomy & Physiology I, Statistics, and Human Nutrition. All tons of information. My A&P class had a lab as well so it was like an additional class because we were simultaneously learning different things and being tested on them. It was nuts! At the end of the quarter I look back and am so glad that I made it through. God definitely was the reason for that. He told me He would enable me if I put in the effort. So I finished my courses above the goals I had set for myself and meeting the requirements to get into the RN program. AWESOME!! I was not sure if I was going to have to repeat at least one of these classes because of not meeting the minimum requirements for the RN program. God is so good! And this is only the beginning. There is so much more to come in my education and future endeavors. I am excited for the future. Thank you for all of your prayers and support. I could not have made it through the quarter without you! God has began a good work and He is so faithful I know He will complete it!!

Report card:
Anatomy & Physiology 3.3 (needed a 3.0 for the RN program)
Statistics 2.6 (needed a 2.0 for the RN program)
Human Nutrition 4.0 (needed a 3.0 for the RN program)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

28 LOVES

I am a lover not a hater... so my list of 28 things that was requested by my friend for my 28th birthday last week will be about 28 things that I LOVE! (these are in no specific order)

1- My Friends! - I have some amazing people in my life that make me laugh, challenge me, and have given me so many wonderful memories I can not count them all. I love you friends!

2- My Family! - I have such a colorful family. They are like a crazy quilt. But it has been my family that has taught me how to love, my family challenges me the most. Because of my family I have learned how to forgive, how to love, and how to hope! I love you family!

3- Cannon Beach! - My favourite place in the whole wide world! I have been blessed to have been traveling to this beautiful little beach town for the past 23 years of my life. There is piece of my heart that only comes alive in this place. Gorgeous!

4- Edinburgh, Scotland! - My next favourite place in the whole wide world! It also includes one of my favourite people in the whole wide world! Josephine!

5- Education! - It is such a joy to be finally in school and each day getting closer to the goal of being a medical missionary

6- Tiramisu! - Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Need I say more. Nope. Not really. But my bosom friend Ang and I celebrated my b-day last week with an enormous piece of Tiramisu from Mama Stortini's. It was amazing!

7- Bike rides! - I have a beautiful Blue Electra Townie that rebirthed my love for riding this past summer. I miss spending so much time on the trials. Soon I will live closer to school and will be able to ride my townie again! Woot!

8- Laughter! - It truly is the best medicine. There have been countless days in my life where laughing has turned the unhappy moments into ridiculously silly moments. I love to laugh! HA HA HA HA! Loud and long and clear!

9- Africa! - So when I left Africa in 2001, there was a piece of my heart that I left behind. My heart aches to be whole again and some day I will go back to Africa and find wholeness as my heart is full again and filled up as I do the work God has called me to.

10- Ice cream! - I love Ice Cream! Breyers all natural original flav is the best... and there is a seasonal Bailey's Irish Cream flav that shows up on the shelves in the winter. Mmmmm. My mouth is watering.

11- 11:11! - Ha! I love to have special times to remember special people or times to pray for friends or just a reason to get excited. 11:11 is awesome! This year on 11/11 at 11:11 my friend Rach sent me a message and that was rad! I am looking forward to 11/11/11... thinking there might be something big to celebrate. I will have a party for sure!

12- Mount Rainier! - Whenever I leave this place and come home I realize how blessed I am to live in such a beautiful place. This mountain takes my breath away and makes me speechless on so many days. We truly have an awesome creator!

13- Seasons! - I love watching the seasons change and feeling the change in temperature. I love comparing our lives to the seasons. We are ever changing.

14- Moving! - I love moving! I am somewhat of a nomad. It has not been a habit of mine to stay in one place for a long period of time. I just recently realized that I have been at my current address for over a year! Hoping to be there another year at least. Wow!

15- Chocolate! - I am female. I love chocolate. My fav is milk chocolate. The best kind, in my humble opinion, is Lindt milk chocolate with the filling. Mmmmmmm!

16- Shopping! - I love to shop! Before 6 months ago I would have called myself a shopoholic. It was something I could do every day if I had the funds. I made a goal for myself to go one year without buying new clothes. It has been almost 7 months. I have maintained not buying any new clothes for that long. I still love to shop and have become a "personal shopping assistant" for friends who need help sprucing up their wardrobes.

17- My youth girls! - My youth girls are no longer youth but in their 20s and some are married, some have graduated from college, some have steady jobs, some are still in process. I just love that I still get to be a part of their lives!

18- Italian Food! - My weakness is Chicken Fetticini Alfredo. Wow. Mmmm.

19- Technology! - I have friends all over the world. Because of how awesome technology is I can still communicate and see my friends when our schedules meet up. Amazing! I love technology!

20- My Car! - I am so blessed to be in the 2% of the world that owns a car. I fully own my car too! Paid it off in January of this year. I love that it gets me from A to B and has AC for the hot days in the summer, and a CD player to entertain me when the radio or my thoughts need to be drowned out.

21- YWAM! - I love what God did in my life during my time at YWAM! It was an amazing life changing experience. I will never be the same again.

22- Music! - I get taken away to another place while listening and singing music. Love it! Can't imagine life without it!

23- The Beach! - I love the beach... yeah CB is my favourite beach... However, I love all beaches! Even the ones in Africa that were covered in poo. Beaches are beautiful and the sea spray and smell refreshes my soul!

24- Traveling! - I love to travel! Seeing as much of the world as I possibly can is a goal of mine. This world is so big and we are such a small part of it. I want to explore all of God's beautiful creation!

25- Sleep! - I am a major sleeper! Sleeping in is one of those things that everyone should get to do on a semi-regular basis. I love to sleep... and people love me to get sleep too! I can be a grumpy pants if I don't get enough of it.

26- Cafe Adamo! - My favourite coffee shop. A little cafe that has the best coffee in Puyallup... probably the best coffee in the Northwest! The people that work there are pretty amazing too. They know my name and care about me as a person too! I love Adamo!

27- Reading! - I love to get lost for a day within the pages of a good book. Some of my favs are written by Beverly Lewis, Lurlene McDaniel, and Dee Henderson. Yep... I like reading about the Amish, young people with life threatening illnesses, and Christain action adventure. Hey. It's whatever floats my boat!

28- Life! - I love to be alive! Living life every day is such a gift! I am blessed by everything above. All of these loves enrich my life! God has blessed me with so many wonderful people, adventures, and things. I have an amazing life that I hope will forever be a living testimony for God's goodness!


Thanks for listening to my loves! I love you!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

were has the time gone?

I haven't posted for two weeks. To say it simply. I have been busy. Overwhelmed with massive amounts of information, trying to grasp every concept, cram every method and sliver of information I may need to remember to succeed in my classes. God has provided for me in awesome ways. When He told me to go back to school He told me that He would do His part, and I had to do my part. So I am holding up my end of the deal. And it is taking a LOT of focus. A LOT of determination. And a LOT of extra study hours. This has unmistakably been my most challenging quarter as of yet. There are only 14 class days left until the end of the quarter. I am pressing in even more to try to attain a GPA that will enable me to be eligible to apply to nursing programs. Thank you for all of your prayers this quarter! And thank you for understanding when I can't "come out and play". And also recognizing when I need a break and forcing me to have a day or few hours of fun. I love you friends! This time is so much easier to endure knowing I have your love, prayers, and support!

Monday, November 10, 2008

2...8...

I am official 2 years away from 30. woah! how did that happen?! I was 22, seems like a few months ago. I don't feel like I am 28 thats for sure.
Thanks to all of you friends who love me! I am so blessed to be loved by you!

I was asked by one of my friends to write a list with 28 things on it.
What kind of list do I want to write?
Bucketlist? Dreams? Goals? Favourite moments in life? Favourite ice cream flavours?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

No Shave November

Thats right. It is officially time to put away the razors, nair, waxing strips, and epilators. One month of shorter times in the shower, less layers while sleeping, and warmer body temperatures are here. My little brother and his friends used to do this when they were in college and by the end of the month they would all have fun looking facial hair. Thankfully I do not posses the genes to grow a beard... but I do get cold in the winter and not shaving for a month is something worth rejoicing about. I know some of my married friends may be unable to participate in this challenge. Or maybe you and your hubbies can complete this challenge together. This challenge is not meant for one sex alone. Let us all come together and grow... some hair. Some may think it gross to have hair. But I will assure you that God made us this way and He was NOT the man who invented razors. So bring on the warmth ladies and gents. Lets see who can make it to the end of No Shave November with the best outcome... you can determine what that may be. Bring on the warm fuzzies! Have fun!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Flirty Fun

Does he know that the compliment made my day?
Does he know that his smile tickled my thoughts?
Does he know that I was distracted for hours because of his flirting?
Does he know that I hope to run into him again?

I don't know.

But I do know that being flirted with is delightful.
To all of my readers out there.
Get your flirt on.
It is way more fun to be flirty. way.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Moments of Today


Today was a day spent in the presence of long time friends. This morning I picked up Rachael and Paul and we met Gerod at his house in west Seattle then went to visit his church Grace community. It was a delightful experience. Unlike any service I have ever been to but very comfortable and engaging. The music was more orchestral instrumental than the regular church band type I am used to... and more classical/hymnal in music choices as well. A positive experience. The message was challenging too.
After church we went to a little cafe a couple blocks away and had a delicious lunch. It felt like old times sitting round a table and enjoying each others company. These friends have shared many amazing moments in my life. It is so wonderful to me that today we added more amazing moments together. Sharing great fellowship, delicious foods, and even a trip to my favourite store in the world... H&M!!! Fabulous! I like to think that my special moments can be saved in a special memory box and wrapped all pretty with ribbons and colorful papers to be opened again some day and relived as those same special moments. I must have storehouses full of special moments already! One of these days I will unwrap a great deal of them!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

goodbye beauty


yesterday I found myself having to stop several times on my way to my car to take a few photos of the colors of fall that were taking my breath away. I was brought to the reality that soon the branches that were so vibrant and full of beauty, would shortly be bare and stark in comparison. It made me stare a little longer. Take in a deeper breath of crisp fall air. Enjoy the bite of the wind on my face. And even kick up some leaves that had already changed and fallen to the ground. At that moment I wished for a huge pile of leaves to jump into and a bunch of friends to have a leaf throwing "fight" with. Sigh. Oh the beauties of fall are quickly passing. Capture a moment before the season turns.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Big Headed

Currently I am being challenged in my academic endeavors. I seem to be cramming so much information into my head that I am sure it has to be getting larger. I think it might be compared to when a woman is pregnant and a baby is growing inside her womb. Except my brain is growing! It must be! I get head aches! Thankfully I don't have any stretch marks yet! I am not retaining water... but am retaining massive amounts of information! If I keep at this rate through the next three quarters (not trimesters!), I am going to have one GIANT NOGGIN!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Shares, 401-K, and MPG

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Delta Airlines one year ago, you will have $49.00 today.

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in AIG one year ago, you will have $33.00 today.

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Lehman Brothers one year ago, you will have $0.00 today

But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the aluminum cans for recycling refund, you will have received a $214.00.

Based on the above, the best current investment plan is to drink heavily & recycle. It is called the 401-Keg.

A recent study found that the average American walks about 900 miles a year. Another study found that Americans drink, on average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year. That means that, on average, Americans get about 41 miles to the gallon!

This made me laugh... I don't really like beer so don't worry about me drinking 22 gallons a year :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

URGENT NEED FOR PRAYER

Sent to us by Jose Sebastian via Isaac Pulladil urgent prayer request from YWAM missionaries in India . This is long but it is important we pray for these persecuted Christians. Thank you for taking the time to read this and to be one with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST!
Dear beloved sponsors and friends of Good News India .

We have never seen anything like this. We knew that Orissa was the most resistant and hostile State in India as far as the Gospel is concerned. And we brushed off the continuous threats and harassment we faced as we went about His work. But none of our staff imagined that they would see this kind of carnage.... And it seems to be totally under the radar of the Western Media ....
Let me explain.... A militant Hindu priest and 4 of his attendants, who were zealously going around the villages of Orissa and "reconverting" people back to Hinduism, were gunned down by unknown assailants in Central Orissa last weekend. Immediately the Christians were blamed. The cry rose up..."Kill the Christians!" And the horror began.... In the past 4 days, we have first hand witness to hundreds of churches being blown up or burned and many, many dozens of Christian tribals have been slaughtered. For no other reason than they bear the name of Christ.

Night and day I have been in touch with our Good News India Directors spread across 14 Dream Centers in Orissa... they a re right in the middle of all this chaos. In Tihidi, just after the police came to offer protection, a group of 70 blood-thirsty militants came to kill our staff and destroy the home.
They were not allowed to get in, but they did a lot of damage to our Dream Center by throwing rocks and bricks and smashing our gate, etc. They have promised to come back and "finish the job." Our kids and staff are locked inside and have stayed that way with doors and windows shut for the past 3 days. It has been a time of desperately calling on the Lord in prayer.
More police have come to offer protection. In Kalahandi, the police and some local sympathizers got to our dream center and gave our staff and kids about 3 minutes notice to vacate. No one had time to even grab a change of clothes or any personal belonging. As they fled, the blood thirsty mob came to kill everyone in the building. We would have had a mass fu neral there, but for His grace. In Phulbani, the mob came looking for Christian homes and missions. The local Hindu people, our neighbors turned them away by saying that there were no Christians in this area. So they left. We had favor. The same thing happened in Balasore.

All our dreamcenters are under lock down with the kids and staff huddled inside and
police outside. The fanatics are circling outside waiting for a chance to kill. Others were not so fortunate. In a nearby Catholic orphanage, the mob allowed the kids to leave and locked up a Priest and a computer teacher in house and burned them to death. Many believers have been killed and hacked into pieces and left on the road.... even women and children.

At another orphanage run by another organization, when this began, the Director and his wife jumped on their motorbike and simply fled, leaving all the children and staff behind. Every one of our GNI directors that I have spoken to said: "We stay with our kids.... we live together or die together, but we will never abandon what God has called us to do."

More than 5000 Christian families have had their homes burned or destroyed. They have
fled into the jungles and are living in great fear waiting for the authorities to bring about peace. But so far, no peace is foreseen. This will continue for another 10 days.... supposedly the 14 day mourning period for the slain Hindu priest. Many more Christians will die and their houses destroyed. Many more churches will be smashed down. The Federal government is trying to restore order and perhaps things will calm down. We ask for your prayers. Only the Hand of God can calm this storm. None of us know the meaning of persecution. But now our kids and staff know what that means.

So many of our kids coming from Hindu backgrounds are confused and totally bewildered at what is happening around them. So many of their guardians have fled into the jungles and are unable to come and get them during these trying times.
Through all this, I am more determined than ever to continue with our goal: the transformation of a community by transforming its children. Orissa will be saved... that is our heart's cry. If we can take these thousands of throw-away children and help them to become disciples of Jesus, they will transform an entire region. It is a long term goal, but it is strategic thinking in terms of the Great
Commission.

What can you do? First, please uphold all this in fervent prayer. Second, pass this on to as many friends as you can. We must get the word out and increase our prayer base for this is spiritual warfare at its most basic meaning. We are literally fighting the devil in order to live for His Kingdom. The next 10 days are
crucial. We pray for peace and calm to pervade across Orissa. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please pass it on and help us to get as many people to partner with us on this cutting edge effort to fulfill His mandate: Go and make disciples of all nations.... Prayer works!

Blessings, Chip & Sandy Wanner Col 2:2 MBI
Team Facilitators to YW AM frontlines

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Are you serious?

Today I went to the cashier's office at college after dropping off a scholarship application that would cover winter quarters tuition. I waited my turn in line. And sat down in the chair in front of the cashier office worker. I asked her if my Stafford Loan check came in. She reached into her file and I saw her pulling out some forms. She told me... "no the stafford loan funds are not here... but, it looks like there is a check... and it is grant money from the state need grant." ARE YOU SERIOUS!!! I am just in awe of how God is providing above and beyond what I could hope or imagine. I quickly went to the bank and deposited the funds. Paid some bills. And filled up the gas tank. God is so amazing! I am going to continue to share His awesomeness in my life. AWESOME!!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Dying Delima

So I was playing around with a photo of mine the other day with picasa and changed my hair color to be a bit darker. I liked it so much that it prompted me to go out and buy some color for my hair. I love Feria products and have used them in the past when I would dye my hair blonde every 4-6 weeks. So I picked up the darkest shade of brown they had and made sure it wasn't a warm tone because my hair has a way of turning red every time I color it. So tonight after a fun day in Bellevue, and IKEA in Renton, I brought out the dye and followed the instructions to a T. When it was all said and done I thought it looked almost exactly the same... except... there might be a more red hue to my hair. sigh. I guess I am going to have to try again... maybe I will get some professional help this next time. Here is a cute picture of me while I waited for my hair to have its not so dramatic change. I smell like hair dye now. I have been two years without any hair color on my head so that is why this is blog worthy. Felt like I needed to justify myself for a moment... but really this is my blog and I can write about whatever I want, no matter how ridiculous it may be :)Thanks for reading! Love you friends!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Toast


this is the state of me. I am toast. my brain has been zapped to the point of not functioning like it should. It is definitely well done, maybe quite burnt, but surely there has been a chemical change that puts me on the brink of crumbling to pieces. There is a miracle though... when I sleep my toasted state somehow reverts back to fresh fluffy delicious bread and I then go through the "toasting" process again that new day. Tomorrow is going to be a day where I almost stay out of the toaster completely. There will be church in Bellevue, browsing The Container Store, lunch and more browsing at IKEA, all the while delighting in the company of a dear friend. I am making it a goal to have one day per weekend where my brain does not get exhausted by the end. Tomorrow is going to be refreshing. Delicious! If wonder bread were natural... thats what kind of bread I would be tomorrow. :)

Friday, October 03, 2008

More Provisions!

My A&P teacher GAVE me a book! Just GAVE it to me. I have been borrowing the book from her the past week and a half and today she asked to talk to me after class. She then asked me if I was waiting for a loan to then by a book or if I would be getting some type of voucher for a book. I told her I was waiting for a loan. And she asked if I would get to keep the money from my loan if I didn't have to buy a book. And I said yes of course. And then she said. I want to give you my book. You can keep it. It is yours now. My response was a rather loud... "Are you serious?!" And she smiled and responded calmly... "Yes." It took all that was in me NOT to jump up and down and give her a great big hug. Instead she got several thank yous from me and a smile from ear to ear. God is so amazing! I am blessed beyond words.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Stripping!


Today I had the joy of stripping some ugly wallpaper border from the top of a bathroom wall for a friends mom. The stuff was very stubborn and so we had to use some potent chemicals and apply them at a few stages. I got to wear a cool mask and goggles, and eventually put on a hat when I was taking the gloss off of the ceiling. Oh what a fun day! My arms are sore. sigh. But boy do I love working on renovations! I am so excited for the next project! Can you tell I am excited and totally smiling in this picture? :)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Provisions! Provisions! Provisions!

I never would have guessed that getting "let go" a couple months ago could be a blessing. Since this quarter of college started I have understood why I have been unable to get a job for almost two months. The amount of studies needed to do well in my classes (Anatomy&Physiology+Lab, Human Nutrition, and Statistics... Plus required study group and additional study groups for required projects)has been overwhelming. So much so that my eye has been twitching off and on since Saturday. I am trying to get enough sleep and some exercise/fresh air every day to ward off shingles( I have had them twice in the past and they can be stress induced). I have been waiting to find out about financial aid and grants for weeks. Monday I was told that I was awarded a grant that covered all of my tuition and then some! I also applied for a book fund scholarship last week and was awarded a free book for the quarter... one that normally costs $150! I am able to borrow books from my professors of my other two classes until my stafford loan comes through. Which I should have in a little over a week. This will take care of a need for a job and pay my bills so I can focus on doing well in school. Praise the Lord! He has provided in ways that I could not have thought up a couple months ago. Hind sight truly is 20/20. I need to remember that more often in the beginning of a "character builiding/learing experience/trial". Thank you for all of your prayers. I will still gladly accept them for the rest of the quarter. It is going to be tough. But I know that if God brought me to it... He will bring me through it! Money doesn't grow on trees... but God's provisions certainly supply ALL my needs!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Double Mamm!

(the dreaded flattener!!)
Ok. Don't get upset with me. Just praise the Lord along with me!
For the past month or so I have been aware of a little lump in the tissue of my left mamm (I have two mamm's- a right and a left mamm). I have been researching about free mammograms, looking into affordable health care, and wondering about what to do... without telling anyone (except my mother).
Tonight I was reading a mentor mom's blog and she shared a testimony of being healed from Endometriosis. As soon as I read how she was healed I was like "DUH, I haven't asked for healing!" So I prayed right then and held onto my mamm. I finished reading my friends blog, it was long... and almost forgot about my mamm. I did a quick feel and didn't feel anything... so I did it again. Still nothing. So I searched and tried to find the exact place where it was. Nothing. No lump. The mamm is in perfect condition!! Miracle Mamms! Hurray! What a great day! Miracles are awesome! I serve a God who still does miracles today! Awesome!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pillow Talk


This is the perfect pillow for my broski. Makes me miss him... but don't tell him I said so! Love you Nicklefritz!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ram Pride!


Tis the season for Rams to kick butt!!
And here is Katie RAM(beck) flexing her RAM muscles and showing her RAM pride that never seems to diminish over the years. GO RAMS!!

Do Not Focus On The Wind

Matthew 14:22-33 (New International Version)
Jesus Walks on the Water

...Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

My friend Sonja told me to read this passage before I went to bed tonight. In the past couple months I have seen myself losing sight of the Saviour and getting distracted and scared by the storm or circumstances that I am in the midst of. Focusing on the wind or trials does nothing except take away my trust in the Lord to keep me afloat. Focusing on the storm brings questions of whens and hows everything will be made right. Focusing on the water that seems to rise up around me makes me think that I am sinking. When I focus on the Lord rather than the wind, I see He is steadfast and I am protected. When I focus on the Lord rather than the storm, I see His perfect timing in answering the questions I have. When I focus on the Lord rather the water, I see He is not letting me sink but enabling me to walk on water with Him.
Focusing is crucial. I am praying for my focus to be fixed on my Savior, not distracted by circumstances, and held steadily by His loving hands.

I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
(Phil 4:13 exclamation added for personal emphasis)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Friend Ugly Office

I was trying to arrange these three words in an order that would not hurt the feelings of the person I am referring to and also make it funny or uncouth(UFO-ugly friend office... funny but no... OFU-office friend ugly...nah... FOU-friend office ugly...you calling me a fou?... no... OUF-office ugly friend...nope...UOF-ugly office friend...not a chance...) friend you are not ugly. I think you are beautiful!! Today after a mind numbing, headache inducing, day ONE of statistics class... I went over to Kate's to enjoy two of our favorite shows. The Office premiered tonight and it was momentous as Stanley made AND achieved a personal goal, Ryan reared his head back in Scranton sporting a goatee, it was discovered that Angela and Dwight are still very interested in spending time together, and Jim finally proposed to Pam!! What a great night for The Office! I am looking forward to what this season has in store!Kate was kind enough to record Ugly Betty for me and waited to watch the show with me until after The Office. True friends share moments like that.Thanks Kate! It was fun watching Betty have some uncomfortable but world shaking moments of her own. She is making leaps and bounds towards growing up. It was thrilling for Kate and I to watch and think toward the future when we can do things like "get an apartment" and "take on more responsibilities at work"... fun times are on the horizon for Betty as well as me and my friend Kate.Thanks for sharing the premier night of both of my favorite shows Katie! You are amazing!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Not my Bill

today I started back to school. woohoo! this is my last year of pre-reqs before I am able to get into an RN or BSN program. I am excited to get this intensive year underway. Excited to dig my heals in and stretch my brain beyond what I think is possible. A couple years ago when I started back to school with urging from the Lord, He told me to be faithful in my studies and He would be faithful to enable me. It really blows my mind to look back at the last two years and see how God equipped me in my studies.
This quarter I qualified for a grant! woohoo! A grant is free money, meaning I don't have to pay it back like a student loan. They just give it to me! Awesome! I am in the waiting period right now wondering how much this grant is for. The woman I have been working with at college told me the numbers should be in on Friday and that I will be receiving a check. So I am hoping that is enough to cover all of my tuition expenses and my books for the quarter. My books alone this quarter are almost $600!! Crazy! Yikes! It is reassuring to know that this bill is not mine but the Lords. He has called me to it and He will make a way for me to get through it! These past couple weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions and lessons in trusting God for provision. He is so good. He is my provider. He is meeting my daily needs just as the bible tells me He will. Stay tuned for updates...

Monday, September 22, 2008

The song that my heart was singing today

Downhere - Here I Am
From the album Ending Is Beginning

Sometimes Your calling, comes in dream
Sometimes it comes in the Spirit's breeze
You reach for the deepest hope in me
And call out for the things of eternity

But I'm a man, of dust and stains,
You move in me, so I can say

Here I am, Lord send me
All of my life, I make an offering,
Here I am, Lord send me
Somehow my story is a part of Your plan,
Here I am

When setbacks and failures, and upset plans
Test my faith and leave me with empty hands
Are You not the closest when it's hardest to stand
I know that You will finish what You began

And these broken parts You will redeem
Become the song that I can sing

Here I am, Lord send me
All of my life, I make an offering,
Here I am, Lord send me
Somehow my story is a part of Your plan,
Here I am

Overwhelmed by the thought of my weakness
And the fear that I'll fail You in the end
In this mess, I'm just one of the pieces,
I can't put this together but You can

Here I am, Lord send me
All of my life, I make an offering,
Here I am, Lord send me
Somehow my story is a part of Your plan,
Here I am

Here I Am, all my life an offering to You, to You
Somehow my story is a part of Your plan
Here I am

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Girls Night In


Take a bunch of women, stick them in an apartment, feed them dinner, AND dessert, add some MacGyver, and plenty of talking (ie laughter, silliness)... thats what I call a great evening!!

Last night a few of my friends and some new friends gathered at a mutual friends apartment (that was a lot of friends!). It was a low key night with a delicious chicken dish, fluffy fruit salad, salad salad, and my specialty smoothies for dessert. I am always reminded at the end of a girls night how much we as women need to be around each other occasionally to refresh, refuel, and, in a sense, rebirth. It is amazing to me how God made us to need to spend time with each other.

Thanks ladies for a great night!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

...Not Lacking Anything!!!

JAMES 1:2-4
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
JAMES 1:12
"Blessed are those who persevere under trial, because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him."


I was listening to a sermon tonight about a widow in 1st Kings Chapter 17. This widow had next to nothing, only the ingredients for one last meal of bread for herself and her son. It was at that time, in those dire circumstances, that God sent Elijah to her house for a meal. Elijah asked her to feed him first and then feed herself and her son. She agreed and the Lord filled her canisters of flour and oil each day for just enough every day. She was able to feed Elijah, herself, and her son. She was obedient and gave beyond what she thought she had. And yet God supplied enough to meet her needs each and every day.

This was a challenging sermon for me. I am currently without a job, have been for over a month, and yet God has provided means for me to clean, and do odd jobs to make just enough to pay the bills when the bills are due. He has provided me with a place to live where I do not have to pay rent, and where they so kindly allow me to share the food they have. I have had enough money to pay my bills this week and bring some food to my mom who is in need. God has reminded me that He is my supplier. He knows every need I have. He wants to fill my canisters every day for just enough for that day. He could give me a huge amount of money and provide an outrageous miracle... but providing enough for each day keeps me focused on His provisions now. It would be easy to lose sight of his miracle if I was given one lump sum. Instead He keeps blessing me each day as I look to my canisters and see enough for a meal, enough for a bill, enough for gas in my car, enough to share. God meets our needs, He knows our needs. He is our Provider. In the mean time this time of trusting and seeing Him work each day also shows me how to persevere during trials and to look to the Lord for the bread of life that sustains me. I want to be not lacking anything and to gain the crown of life! If trials are the only way, then so be it! I would rather be complete and have gone through trials than incomplete and never weathered a difficult time in my life.

Thank you Lord for showing me your hand during this time of testing. Help me to take hold of your hand and not get distracted by the lies of the enemy or my own fears. I am trusting you to be my Provider, today, tomorrow, and all the days after that! Thank you for showing me more of your goodness through this time in my life. I love you Lord!

Your Daughter,

Jami

Monday, September 15, 2008

WAIT?!

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried.
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, "Child, you must wait!"

"'Wait?', you say, wait!" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By FAITH I have asked, and am claiming your Word.

"My future and all to which I can relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to WAIT?
I'm needing a 'yes,' a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign.

"And Lord, you promised that if we believe
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!"

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, "You must wait."
So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting. . .for what?"

He seemed then to kneel and His eyes wept with mine,
And he tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.
All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want--but, you wouldn't know ME.

"You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint;
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint;
You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there;
You'd not know the joy of resting in me
When darkness and silence were all you could see.

"You'd never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of my Spirit descends like a dove;
You'd know that I give and I save. . .(for a start),
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of my heart.

"The glow of my comfort late into the night.
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that's beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.

"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that 'My grace is sufficient for thee.'
Yes, your dreams for your loved ones overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss! if I lost what I'm doing in you!

"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
THAT THE GREATEST OF GIFTS IS TO GET TO KNOW ME.
And though oft may my answers seem terribly late,
My wisest of answers is still but to WAIT."

-- Author Unknown

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mafia Night


No I am not a thug or a hit man. Tonight was a night of games that were played during the days of my youth. A fun group of adults gathered in the Miller home who could handle the mystery of murder, investigation, allegations, and trials. I was an angel twice in a row (unheard of!) and was killed early on both times! It was hard to determine who had my back in that game. I found out the hard way that my friends plotted my death. It was difficult to look them in the eyes after that.


A fun twist to tonight was creating the cards that we used for the game. Kate and I wrote up character descriptions for all of the necessary characters. It was fun being creative and silly. A few of the townspeople that I ensured were a part of the town included: Bob Ross (happy trees painter dude), Mr. Belding (famous principal from Saved By The Bell), and Dr. Phil (is he a doctor or a psychiatrist?). It was a fun filled and sweets filled evening. I have been blessed beyond words this summer with amazing memories with friends. Mafia night has been added to the list of awesome times with friends!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Do Not Be Dismayed

Isaiah 41:10 (New International Version)

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.



Jeremiah 46:27 (New International Version)

"Do not fear, O Jacob my servant;
do not be dismayed, O Israel.
I will surely save you out of a distant place,
your descendants from the land of their exile.
Jacob will again have peace and security,
and no one will make him afraid.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11/01


That evening in Tema, Ghana, West Africa, a telecast uniting the four corners of Africa was scheduled for the closing ceremonies of the conference that had been going on for the past week. We had finished the morning meetings and worship and it was past lunch time. Final prep for the dances that would be performed had been made. I was upstairs in the dorms of the Tema YWAM base when I heard someone screaming and crying and running through the courtyard out my window. The cries echoed through the staircase and then came to the doorway of my room. We were told to turn on our radio. We did. The BBC radio program was the closest thing to a news report that we would get for days. As a couple dozen students and staff crowded together in that room that was already filled with three bunk beds we listened as chills went down our arms and tears started to fall.

The radio was saying that a plane had crashed into the world trade center in New York. The radio also proclaimed that there were other planes headed to various places throughout the US. As we listened to reports the second plane crashed into the world trade center. Tears flowed at that point. Not knowing if our families were safe we were left to hope and pray. At this point I was at the end of a six month adventure called a Discipleship Training Program through Youth With A Mission. We were to fly out of the country the next day and all 70+ staff and students were very low on funds if not completely out. I had no money left to call home. Friends that did have the ability to call home were faced with busy phone lines continually. Fears won the battle of our minds for a time as we imagined the worst. The radio said planes were headed to major landmarks and bridges. They mentioned the Space Needle in Seattle and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. My fears raced through my mind. Was my family ok? Were my friends far from harms way? When would I hear from my family again?

The closing ceremony began at the scheduled time but did not have the emphasis that had been planned. A few thousand people from all over the world gathered in the conference facility. The tear stained faces were not just the Americans represented, but faces from countries around the world. Dances and singing went on as planned. The telecast knit the four corners of Africa together in a unity that had not existed in the past. As the closing ceremonies went on a leader asked all of the Americans to go up on the stage. A couple hundred of us gathered together with shock on our faces and some still not able to stop the tears from coming. At that point there was prayer for America and all those impacted by the tragedy. After a time of prayer people started getting up one at a time from countries all over the world and spoke blessings and asked for forgiveness on behalf of their countries. It was a miraculous day to be a part of. Though tragedy had brought so many to the end of their lives, at the same time, God brought healing and restoration towards Americans to the hearts of countless people from nations around the world.
That night it poured buckets. It was as if the Lord was weeping with us over the loss of so many. Soaking us to our cores and washing away the pain as well.

The next day (9/12) we drove out of Tema and crossed the border into Togo where we were scheduled to fly to Paris, France. While we waited for our flight out of Africa fears arose that we would be stuck in Togo. Flights had been grounded around the world and we wanted out of the third world and to be back in the comforts of home with our loved ones. We were able to leave Togo. Thankfully so. When we arrived in Paris (9/13) they kept us in the loading and unloading ramp for over an hour. When we finally were let into the airport, we were greeted by armed forces, asked to sit in a terminal then we waited a few more hours to find out when we would be able to fly out. Air France told us that we would not be able to fly out as scheduled. All flights to the US were grounded at this point. Air France put all 70+ staff and students up in a hotel a short tram ride away from the airport. We were not allowed to leave the hotel because flights for some or all of us were trying to be arranged and we had to be available to leave at a moments notice.

The comforts of toilets that flushed, nice big beds, warm running water, and food that made our mouths water just to look at made not getting home a little easier. Air France gave us calling cards, food vouchers for the hotel during our time there. Once we were at the hotel we were finally able to watch the TV showing what was going on in the US. Two days after the atrocity, the reality of what had happened stunned our team. We were thankful to be safe and not stuck in Togo. We would be grounded in Paris for a total of five days. I was finally able to call my parents and tell them that I was ok. More tears flowed with the emotion of knowing that everyone was safe back in WA. The team bonded even more in Paris as we wept with each other. The day we found out we would fly out the next day Air France delivered bus passes, rail passes, and food passes to our whole team so we could go out and see the city. The most memorable moment was going to Notre Dame at Dusk. A service was going on inside and candles were lit everywhere. It was beautiful and sobering. Everyone in Paris embraced the Americans with a love I can not describe. It was beautiful to be a part of.

Day five (9/17) all 70+ of us flew out of Paris together. Miracle!!!! We flew into Los Angeles and were greeted by American flags the size of buildings. Every car seemed to have a flag hanging from at least one place on the vehicle. America was in a state of grief. Somber faces were everywhere. As I walked through customs and had my passport stamped coming back into the US, the official wrote below the stamp and date, "welcome home!".

We stayed one night in LA before making the journey back to Hawaii to debrief and hold a graduating ceremony for the school and outreach phases that we had completed.
It was good to be back on American soil. Some students kissed the ground. Others wanted to go directly home and forgo the graduation ceremony. Most of the students in our school came back to Hawaii. It was a difficult time to go through as a nation... but I was blessed to be with some of the most loving and supportive people from around the world.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Back to School


Two weeks until I start back to school...

I know that I will have butterflies on my first day back and I will get to school early to find out where my classrooms are and find seats close to the doors for easy exit... all you who know me need no further explanation.
It is thrilling to think of all that will be accomplished in the coming year. I will have fulfilled all of my pre-req requirements for the BSN (bachelor of science in nursing) program, and will have applied, and hopefully been accepted into a program as well. This year is going to be intense. But I am super excited. God told me two years ago that if I did my part He would do His part to help me through my schooling. I have seen His hand the past two years, and recognize the doors He has opened at His perfect timing, and the trials that have shown me more of who He is.
So I will prepare my backpack with my favorite mechanical pencils, tons of notebook paper, a scientific texas instrument calculator, and my mini stapler. I will prepare my heart with the knowledge that I am in the will of God and take courage and strength from Him as I step into a challenging academic year. Woohoo!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Healing Revival

I stole the following post from a DTS friends husband. Thanks Anna and hubby for letting me post your words :)




A recent healing outpouring has reignited the age old battle between the false revival crowd and the don't judge crowd. The for and against arguments recirculate the news, blogs and conversations from previous movements. I believe two points receive less attention than they deserve: importance and purpose.

In seeking to Biblically approach this subject one must ask:

How important is healing in the Bible?

Looking through the scriptures we see:
- God is able to heal
- God is willing to heal
- God calls us to pray for healing
- God can use us to heal

Interestingly though, the Bible hardly touches on:
- How to pray for healing
- How to heal
- How healing works

The Bible seems to be preoccupied with:
- Glory
- Jesus
- Sin
- Grace
- Faith
- Redemption

This begs the next question:

What is the purpose of healing in the Bible?

If healing is one of many topics in the scriptures, then it's purpose must point to something outside itself.
Therefore healing isn't the purpose of healing.

Healing isn't the instrument - the Spirit is
Healing isn't the message - the Son is
Healing isn't the goal - the Father is

Healing can be used by the Spirit
Healing can accompany a message about the Son
Healing can point us to the goal of the Father

The purpose of everything is the glory of God

Healing is but a means to an end

Monday, September 08, 2008

What do I want my legacy to be?

On Sunday when visiting a church in Maple Valley the pastor was speaking about our destiny... he also said something about when everything is stripped away... which led me to thinking about what I hope to be remembered of me when I am old and have had many experiences in my life and I go to meet Jesus.

I want to be remembered as someone who was very real... transparent almost to the point of discomfort.
Our society has issues with staying in our comfort zones and avoiding conversations that are challenging to process. Challenge is essential for growth. Come on people. Why should we stay the same old same old rather than gaining deeper understandings to the pressing issues of our generation and the generations before and after us. Staying in a bubble doesn't benefit us. It seems that the more sheltered a person is the harder it is for that person to function in the real world. Yeah, God has called us to "be in the world but not of the world"... but He did tell us to be in the world. How else is there going to be a chance for people of different backgrounds, religions, and social status to have the opportunity to learn from each other?? And at the same time we Christians can be stretched and maybe even share the love of God with them?! I hope that God will use me in this way. That I will be stretched out of my comfort zone for always so that I can grow and develop more character while gaining a greater understanding from the rest of the world so that I can love them more like Jesus does and meet them in the midst of where they are at and not on my own grounds.
Being real and sharing our struggles and how God has had the victory in our trails is so important. The bible says that "in our weaknesses He is made stronger". Yes! So if we share our weaknesses then God gets more and more glory! The church society that I have grown up in would rather cover up sin than put it out there and let the victory be shown. In that scenario the only person that wins is the devil. The sinner is still left in condemnation, the church has not seen the power of God, and so no one else has heard the testimony which could lead to more healing in other people (believers or non believers). It is our gain and the gain of the church and all who hear the testimony of the work of the Lord. We should not be silenced by the whispers of condemnation from the church or the lies of the enemy echoing our failings. Sharing our trials brings great freedom! "If the Son has set you free, you are free indeed!"
This is just one of the parts I hope to leave in my legacy...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Swollen Heart

today I went to church for the first time in a while... I have been looking for a new church for a few months and have been trying some churches on sporadically this summer.
So today me and two friends headed out to Maple Valley to visit Generational Hope Christian Center. There was a guest speaker today so I am going to have to visit again. Overall it was a comfortable place to be. I enjoyed the worship and hearing about the speakers ministry in Uganda. Every time I hear about mission work in Africa my heart swells and I get excited for the future. It seems that the ability to get to that continent is getting closer and closer and yet it is so far away at the same time. I am encouraged that my heart still longs to go there. Absence makes the heart grow fonder indeed. It has been almost seven years since I returned home from my DTS adventure and I recognized that a piece of my heart had been left behind.
A friend of mine told me that I looked like a kid in a candy store as we were watching the slide show the missionary put together.
I am glad that I still have a strong desire on my heart to go back to Africa and be a part of the work the Lord is doing there. It gives me a greater peace about my schooling that still lays ahead and drives me onward toward the goal of medical missions.
I pray that my heart will continue to swell for the people of Africa. Like in the movie "the grinch"... how his heart just gets bigger and bigger! I want a swollen heart :) filled with a love beyond what I can understand for the people I am going to encounter throughout the continent of Africa.
I am so excited for the things the Lord is preparing!!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

what is love?

Over the past year I have been asking myself about the definition of love.
More specifically as defined in 1st Corinthians 13...

1 Corinthians 13 (New Living Translation)
Love Is the Greatest
1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[b] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when full understanding comes, these partial things will become useless.
11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[c] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
13 Three things will last forever - faith, hope, and love - and the greatest of these is love.

I find myself looking at the church as a whole and asking myself if what I see there is reflecting this love that is so defined in the above passage. "...The greatest of these is love." That's a big statement!

As I reflect on the images of the church that are rolling around in my head I see flaws. We all fall short, yes, however, it seems to me that a greater emphasis should be placed on the basic understanding of loving our neighbors, our friends, strangers, and our enemies. I feel as if the church is trying to make people fit into a cookie cutter mold before its ok to love and embrace those people. Where in the bible does it say that we have to fit a-z before we are suitable to be loved by the church? More or less it seems that was the attitude of the Pharisees and not of Christ. And if I am remembering correctly, the Pharisees were not so on track with the character of Christ.

"Love does not keep records...".
This is something I struggled with in my own walk. A few years ago I was in a relationship that was not in line with Christs commands. I was having sex with my boyfriend and in turmoil about my sins. Even after getting out of this relationship I struggled with forgiving myself. I could not love myself the way the bible told me to. I think this struggle in my life has given me a greater understanding of God's love. I was fearful that when people found out they would judge me for my past records. It wasn't until about a year after getting out of that relationship that I came to a better understanding of love. If people are not able to put my "records" behind me then they are truly not loving me. I ask myself more regularly now if I am keeping "records" of my friends or am I loving them right where they are at. "Love endures through every circumstance." Am I loving my friends through every circumstance? How about my enemies? Or people who are just different than I am?

God is a creative God and didn't make a single one of His children one this planet to be exactly the same. Just because we are different doesn't mean that we need to fix some to be like the others. "You are a masterpiece..." A painting is not just one color... it has many colors and shades of colors to create beauty. To embrace conformity would be to constrict the beauty of our differences. In our differences we can learn so much from each other. God has given us each different experiences and minds that are so unique. Not one the same as the other.

"Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity."
It will take a lifetime I'm sure to get closer and closer to understanding the greatness of the love of God. A little glimpse at a time is about all my finite mind can comprehend. Our understanding is never going to fully grasp God's awesome love. However, there is still a call to love.

"Love your neighbor as yourself."
If you don't love yourself how can you love your neighbor?

"...if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing."
Loving others is more important than knowledge and faith.

As a member of the body of Christ I want to see Christians loving others with the love that God has called us to. Embracing conformity, keeping records, and dismissing God's creativity in creating us uniquely is wrong. We are called to love everyone. Right where they are at. Whether they are embraced by society or not. That is the example that I have seen in Christ's character throughout the bible. So church, I ask you to stand up in your congregations, small groups, coffee shops, offices, grocery stores, and everywhere. As a church, WE MUST LOVE!

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."

I dare you to love. Just think of the restoration and healing that will come. How many people have been damaged by a warped version of the "pharisee love"?

I will accept this dare along with you and ask for accountability in loving. Thank you friends for loving me for who I am right now, not what I will become, not trying to conform me, accepting me in my uniqueness. Knowing I am so loved has given me the freedom to understand more of the greatness of God's love.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Quote of the Week


blessed are we who can laugh at ourselves for we shall never cease to be amused

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

O trail O terrific O tranquil

Saturday five of us met in Orting to ride out to South Prairie and back. It was a cool day with overcast skies but the rain stayed away the whole time we were out there. What a blast it was riding with a bunch of friends. Usually I ride with one or maybe two other people. Five was so much fun! It was the first time for the four others to ride this part of the trail. I was so happy to be able to show them some of my "special stopping points" along the way.
I was a tour guide as we passed the "wildlife" on the trail... "to your left you will see such exotic animals as emu and lama."
"The trail can be a bear on the way out to South Prairie because it is a gradual incline..." was translated to... "Jami said there are bears on the trail!!"
One of my favourite parts of the trail is getting to the "marshmallow field". The packaged up hay or whatever is in those things looks like giant marshmallows. It makes me giggle to think that marshmallows are grown and harvested and then sent to factories to be chopped up and shipped to our stores in smaller variety sizes and colors.
I convinced my friends to come sit on a log with me by the tranquil running water and we took this fabulous famous "open mouth closed eyes" photo. Another fun moment was "forgetting" to mention the bathroom Kate and I walked to was a Port-A-Potty... and letting my friend who almost brought toilet seat covers find out when she walked the jaunt over to it. There was hand sanitizer in the Port-A-Potty! It was much better than the holes in Africa people!
All in all it was a fabulous day. I am so glad we did it and hope to have an adventure like it again soon. Until then... Happy Trails!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

plans to prosper...


This week has been a tough week for me. I have become overwhelmed with my current circumstances and have broken down in tears sporadically throughout the week. Loans for school have been delayed making the option of moving delayed as well. I am still searching for a job and submitting resumes like someone desperate for work. Because I AM desperate for work!! My bills still need to be payed and I am praying that the funds to pay them will show up soon. I am sad because not having funds makes me think I may not be able to go to one of my DTS friends' wedding in BC next week. I take deep breaths and try not to focus on all of these things at the same time. Then I remember... He has a plan to prosper me and not to harm me... God is sovereign. He knew all of these things were going to happen before they did. I thought I have learned trust already in my walk with the Lord. Maybe I haven't captured all of what trusting really is. Am I acknowledging Him in all my ways? Am I trying to do things in my own will and my own strength? Questions and more questions bring me to a better place. Choosing to surrender all of my fears about the unknown and my hopes for the coming months I put my trust in the Almighty God. Recognizing that He is Almighty makes me feel like an idiot for blubbering through this week. Though I know His heart for me embraces me in every circumstance and His Father heart wants nothing more than for me to trust Him and know His love for me. He does have a plan to prosper me and not to harm me. I sit here in my bed with food in my belly, a roof over my head, and the knowledge that I am loved by the Almighty God. Please pray for me as I continue to trust in Him.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Remember when...

More than a decade ago my life was spent attending youth group events and hangin out with friends after church on Saturday nights. It doesn't seem possible that so much time has already passed us by...
Sunday afternoon several of the people I grew up at youth group with got together for a reunion. It was so wonderful to see faces that I haven't looked upon in years and hear how much all of our lives have changed. We are no longer children (though some of us still act like it) but adult with grown up lives. Weird. I still feel so young. It doesn't seem possible that so many of us have moved to the married or baby stages already. I am still in denial that I am a grown up.
A couple of months ago I was hanging out with one of my youth girls who is studying to be a chiropractor... she asked how old I was and got all confused when I told her. She responding saying "I always thought we were the same age"... not quite sure how that would work being as I was her youth leader when she was in jr high. It made me feel young though.
This reunion was very special. I think it is going to be the first of many. Hoping to do another one in six months or so. Make it a semi-regular event. I am excited to see how all of us continue to change throughout the years to come. Excited to watch my old friends grow their families and face new adventures. It will be fun to get together ten years from now and reminisce and "remember when..."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Spoontula

Alissa and I are hangin out this weekend as her parents are on a retreat. Tonight we made rice crispy treats with strawberry marshmallows and topped them off with a layer of ghiradelli milk chocolate and pink sprinkles. We discovered a spoontula (spatula-spoon combo) was the key to scraping as much of the crispies out of the bowl and into the pan. mmmm. can't wait to enjoy them! tomorrow Lis is having friends over to watch the premier of The Cheetah Girls new movie. The fun has only begun...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

the 80s are back!

I visited this site www.yearbookyourself.com after seeing the magic it worked on some of my friends. If you take a look at my photo you will have to agree that it is pure magic. I feel so beautiful in this photo. wow. If only I had been in high school when that was the fashion. if only...

Monday, August 18, 2008

an afternoon with mom

after saying goodbye to Lola (the dog whose poop I have been picking up for the past two weeks) I went to the bank and then to get a coffee and headed to my moms house. she told me last night that she has been doing a good job of faking being ok lately. I congratulated her last night and made a mental note to check up on her more regularly.
so I show up at her house and find her asleep on the couch. We chatted while she woke up and went off to the grocery store. she needed milk and so I bought her some... and some syrup, butter, and ice cream. we went back to her house and had ice cream for dinner. It was delicious. she told me stories about the past and we laughed a bunch. I told her stories about when I was a kid and we laugh some more. It is days like today that makes me treasure my mom. I am blessed that she lives close by. I am blessed that she doesn't smother me. I am blessed that she has prayed for me every day of my life. I am blessed to be loved by such an amazing mom. I love you mom!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lightning striking again and again and again and again!


So the past two weeks (almost) I have been staying at some friends' house taking care of their dog. We are a couple blocks from the railroad tracks and I have grown accustomed to the gentle movement that the house makes when a train is rolling through town. Last night was a different story.
The house shook so hard me the dog and I were startled awake at 3ish in the morning! I realized when I saw flashes of light coming through the blinds that there was a storm hovered directed above us. My eyes closed to try to get back to sleep and yet I could still see the flashes of light through my lids. It was some show. There were a few times that I dozed off and then was awoken by the thunder that shook the house. I was able to console the dog and she and I finally went back to sleep and the storm moved on. I think storms can be enjoyed more during day time or early evening hours. I just wish I had been able to watch more of the lightning "fireworks" and appreciate the beauty of the storm. I was half asleep. Didn't quite get to enjoy it to its fullest potential.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I love JJ!!!



So this amazing artist has so kindly put her newest album out there for all to have for free. You can follow the link above to her website and find out how to download it at no cost to you. We all love FREE!
I have loved her music since I discovered her about a year and a half ago. She is brilliant. Her music will captivate you and evoke thoughtful moments. I hope you enjoy discovering her sweet timeless sounds. You will love JJ soon too!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

why have a planner...

...when our lives are like a mist?
we do not know what tomorrow holds.
so we must take hold of each day.
hold it as a treasure.
for what it is so beautifully named.
the present.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Crazy Heirloom


I don't understand how I can have three siblings and we are so so so very different. There is one thing about us that is similar though. We are all stubborn.

My sister Melissa is so stubborn she won't give up a married man in Wyoming who has told her time and again that he doesn't want her. She won't give up though. Stubborn. She is going back to Wyoming yet again. Leaving Puyallup and her daughter that she made countless promises of quality time with her mom to. I pray against this stubborn spirit. My sis is amazing when she puts her mind to something. I just wish it were something brilliant rather than a stupid man who is leading her down a path of destruction. She can be an amazing person when she focuses all of here determination (a nicer word for stubborn) on one thing. I always thought she would be a fantastic lawyer. I'm hoping that she soon discovers the emptiness in the man she is blindly chasing after. And that she returns to the only One who can fill her heart fully.

My brother Nick is so stubborn that he didn't tell me he was leaving town. He is now traveling the country in an RV with his girl friend and her mom. They even brought along an ice cream truck to make money on the side. He didn't want me to try to talk him out of going. Stubborn. I am sad that I didn't get to say good bye to him. I pray against this stubborn spirit. He has such a good heart and brings laughter to so many people. I wish he were sharing more of his testimony. Maybe this time in the RV traveling will give him opportunity to gather his thoughts and discover more of what the Lord wants him to do with his life. He has had some rough patches to travel through... I just know that God can use those rough patches for great things. Though I joked with him about being a motivational speaker... it is really something that I can see him stepping into in the future. I pray that he seeks the Lord to find the path that the Lord has gone before him and prepared.

My brother BJ is so stubborn that he gets under all of my nerves at the same time. He is the one who drives me crazy every time he opens his mouth. He always has to be right and have the last word. Stubborn. I pray against this stubborn spirit. Sometimes I wonder how we can be so close in age and yet the furthest apart in all aspects of our lives. It is a bit mind boggling to me. I wonder if there was something that I had done differently when we were kids if our relationship would be different today. He is a smart man. Sometimes so smart it frightens me. I pray that he will be able to use his gifts in a way that will give him great pride in himself. Even though he drives me crazy... I still love my brother. I also pray for a new attitude in myself when I am around him.


My family is unique. I was watching a movie called "the Family Stone" today and it reminded me how different each person in a family can be. It is the uniqueness of each individual in that family that makes the family that much more interesting. One of my friends described my family as a crazy quilt. I think that is a great picture. We are quite colorful and random in our grouping... however, we have all been grouped together to make something that is an heirloom that will forever be treasured.

I pray great things for each one of my family members. I pray that the stubbornness that each one of us so abundantly posses would be used for good in God's kingdom. Lord please protect and guide my sister and brothers today. Bring them back to you. Bring them back to wholeness. Bring them the joy that can only be found in your presence. Bring them the peace that goes beyond their own understandings. Bring them delight in following your leading. Bring them back to you.