Thursday, January 29, 2015

Year 23

Lord, thank you for these past years.
Thank you for all of it, I wouldn't trade a day.
Thank you for each small lesson and the occasional 2x4 to the head (when needed.)
Thank you for the infinite number of blessings and ALL the joy!
Thank you for each person that has touched my life and for all the wonderful memories.
Thank you for this past year and all it held; 22 was pretty great!
Thank you for the many changes and transitions and 
for leading me step by step through each new phase.
Thank you for all the grace you've offered me, and the love you've shown me.
Thank you for the overwhelming peace and the constant comfort you provide.
Thank you for all you've taught me and for continually drawing me to yourself.
Thank you for 23 years.
May this next year exceed the previous.
I pray that I would go deeper and be braver.
Lord that you would challenge and inspire me each and every day,
that I would know and be known by you.
Lord, may year 23 be dedicated to You.
Thank you for year 23.
~ Amen 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Messy desks

This week is BIG
Seriously, some (well, one or two) big things are happening and I just can not wait! 
But more on that later...

As for now, my desk is piled high with a bunch of fun projects and not-as-fun tasks to accomplish while I sit in giddy anticipation for the days to come. 

Happy working y'all!

Thursday, January 22, 2015


I've got a lovely resource that I'm just dying to share with everyone! 
Lately, I've been doing my devotions through SheReadsTruth. I stumbled across the site several months ago, and I absolutely love it. It's really more of a community than just a website. The amazing women behind SRT create daily, inspiring devotional plans and share them (free of charge!!!) on their site. They also recently launched an app so you can access the plans write from your phone or you can subscribe to have each day's devotion sent to your email. 

The current plan is a study on the book of John. I'm a few day's behind, but I've really enjoyed reading through the book a chapter a day and reading the insights these ladies have to offer. I think that is my favorite part about it - words and concepts catch my attention as I read the passages, but then I get to see what stood out to someone else. I get to look at the verses through someone else's eyes. 
I haven't stuck with every plan that they've put out, but it certainly helps give me some direction in my devotional life when I need a little pick-me-up. Plus it helps me stay consistent.

So, if you're looking to spice up your devotions a bit or maybe you need help developing a devotional routine, I would highly recommend checking this site out. Click on any of the links above or the button on your right. ----->>>

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tunnel Vision

Before I got my official driver's license, my mom made me take drivers ed. So, after school a few days a week some lady would pick me up and we would drive around town. I would drive while she would correct my posture, hand position, turning signal timing, and my need to slam on my brakes rather than taking my time to come to a nice slow (aka: graceful) stop. One of her chief complaints as to my driving skills was my "tunnel vision." Pretty much, I would get so concentrated on where I was going or when I was stopping that I would completely forget to check my mirrors. My eyes became so focused on the road that I was no longer paying attention to anything going on around me. This tunnel vision made me an unsafe driver and it was something that we had to work on over and over again. 

This is an issue that I’ve had in my spiritual life as well. I tend to get so focused on one single thing that everything else just gets shoved behind me and disregarded or forgotten. This time last year I was really struggling with some serious homesickness. All I wanted to do was graduate so that Adam and I could move back home to West Virginia. We dreamed of going into full time ministry at the end of the semester, but I was set on getting a position back east. Everything I did and everything I planned was with this goal in mind. To me, this wasn't an issue. Of course God was going to provide a ministry position for us close to our families, why would He not? He placed that love for my family in my heart and He wanted us to be home just as much as I did. So I really didn't entertain the thought of going anywhere else. My tunnel vision was focused on getting home permanently. Thankfully God has bigger and better plans than I have for myself and He is able to see way past my own limited vision.

I was sitting in chapel when God began to shift my focus. The campus pastor began the service by saying a few words. Honestly, I don't even remember his point, but I do remember him asking if we were willing to go where God called us. Now, I had heard this a million times before. I’m a Bible college student; of course I'm willing to go where God has called me! But then I heard the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit question me, "Anywhere, will you go anywhere that I call you?" And just for a moment I broke free of my tunnel and the whole world opened up before me. I suddenly realized, that if I answered that honestly, I would have had to say no. 

Now, I'd like to say that I left the chapel that day with none of my tunnel vision in tact. I'd like to tell you that I was fully ready and prepared to go anywhere that He called me. That is not the case. However, it did open up a new honest dialogue between myself and the Lord. I told him that I was scared, that I didn't want to go anywhere, that I just wanted to go home. But you know, God is loving and full of grace, and He continued to work on me. When I fell back into my old tunnel visioned ways He, in his grace, would remind me once again, "Will you go anywhere?" and gradually His peace seeped into my world. Slowly but surely He took my tunnel visioned focus on going home and shifted it to Himself. 

I don’t think I’m the only one that struggles with spiritual tunnel vision.  Maybe your focus is graduating, getting married, or even starting a ministry. You might be focused on good things. However, if our focus isn’t on our Lord first and foremost, we’ve got our priorities wrong and they need to be corrected. It might take time; it certainly took me awhile. You might have to work on it over and over again; believe me, I still struggle.  It can be gut-wrenching, and it can turn your whole world upside down. But Paul tells us to run our race with our eyes fixed on Jesus, throwing aside anything that hinders us (Hebrews 12:1). So, if you're anything like me in your tunnel visioned ways, this is my prayer for you: That you would be covered in His peace, seeking Him and allowing your focus to be shifted to Jesus and that everything else would fall into place behind Him.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Happy (late) New Year!

Well, I fell off the blogging wagon for a little bit there. But don't worry, I've got plenty of excuses. 

Let's just say that December was a bit crazy around here. We had a ton of Christmas parties to plan and participate in. We were leaving half way through the month to head back to good ole' West Viriginia. In every ounce of free time we had, we were working to finish all the Christmas presents that Adam had been laboring over since October - he made some beautiful wooden chests for our families, seriously he's pretty talented! Thankfully all I had to do was sand and stain them. We had to pack and ready our home for our two week absence. Once in WV, we spent all our time either with our families or traveling between them. Then it was time to return to South Dakota so that Adam could preach on Sunday, where we were greeted home by a sick puppy. We have since been trying to nurse him back to health. Like my list of excuses? Yeah, they are pretty good. 

Moving on, we had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! It was great to have two whole weeks to spend with our families. We celebrated and partied, ate a ton of food, visited all our favorite places, got to see all our favorite people, and soaked up all the love we could. Again, I was so busy cherishing every moment of it that I managed to take zero photos. Maybe that should be a goal for this year - to photo document 2015 a bit better. Along with all that busy-ness, I haven't put much thought into any "New Years Resolutions." Maybe I'll just keep going month by month. That challenge seems a little less daunting. 

Well, Happy New Year everybody! 2014 was a pretty great year for us. We had quite a few unexpected blessings and made some life-changing decisions, all of which have been marvelous. Looking back over the last year and seeing all that God had done, I am super stoked to see and experience everything coming in 2015. 

What are you looking forward to this year?