Monday, July 21, 2014

Home is...

I've been home more throughout the summer than I have for much of the past school year. I love it! I enjoy going home almost every time. I had the chance to celebrate Mother's and Father's days and see the show my sister was in. I even had a chance to spend time with my grandparents. It's the best. I am so thankful that I have a family that lives nearby as well as gets along really well. But here's what happens when I'm home:

Home is...
... early mornings
... granola bars
... Skyping my brother
... mowing the lawn
... sister time
... TV and/or yard work with dad
... snacking and movie watching with mom
... slow wi-fi
... home church smiles, hugs, and handshakes
... hanging out with my best gals
... laughing so much that I'm crying
... hugs

I haven't taken tons of pictures while I'm home, but it's only because I'm having so much fun!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Are my parents crazy?

In case I haven't told you, sometimes I think my parents are strange. Or ridiculous. Or hilarious. Or inappropriate. Or wise. Or silly. Or sometimes, awesome.

A while ago, I heard a gal say she had never been on a plane or out of the Midwest, much less the nation. To some, this is their norm. However, I was surprised. While I understand many people have not had the same opportunities I have had or share my love for travel, her remark made me reflect.

  • I flew in a plane for the first time at age 9.
  • With my family, I've traveled to various places within the nation.
  • I left the country without my parents at age 13. And again at 14 and 15.
  • I flew and left the continent with five people my parents didn't really know at age 19.

WHAT were my parents thinking?!?!?
That they were not going to stand in God's way. 

When I first left the country, I went with my youth group on a week-long mission trip. I was a freshman in high school, the youngest person on the trip.
Let's not judge the fashion, okay?

Again, when I went to West Africa last summer, I was the youngest person on the trip.
Six years later and I'm still pale. Good.
When I told my parents that I was thinking of going on a mission trip for the summer, they were behind me. Sure, they had questions, but they were in step. My dad said that it helped that many things were in order and organized (Shout out to Missions Staff) as well as the fact that I wasn't going to a super dangerous part of the world.

But he also said that he knows God is doing big things with or without you. If God "invites" you do get on board with something, you can say yes or no, but saying yes will take you on a wild ride full of "turbulence." He'll get you through it, and it might not be easy. It will be crazy, and you might even see great, wild "God things."

As my dad and I parted ways before my trip, he told me, "I can't wait for you to go because I can't wait to hear the stories you'll have when you come back."

So mostly, this post is not to brag about my rockstar parents, but to encourage other parents to let your kids go and do great things for God. Your kid and you won't regret it. (And your kid might recognize how cool you are.)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Blessings and birthdays

I made it to 20! How crazy is that?

This past weekend, the fam came down to visit! Our foreign exchange student made it to the Large Group All State Speech Festival!! (I'm so proud of her!) But Friday, sis came and we hung out at an ISU gymnastics meet. It was so fun to have sister time! We haven't gotten to spend a ton of time together, so that was super special.
Saturday we made chocolate chip pancakes (a favorite!) and met up with the parents to watch all the cool acts. We loved watching everyone; they were fabulous! Then Mom and Dad spoiled me! Mom and I bargain shopped. After a while, I went to work. From the play-by-play via text, I'm sure they had fun. They also brought down a few presents and baked goods. My apartment is still in no short supply of sweets! Grandma baked cookies, Dad baked a cake (complete with frosting and funfetti sprinkles!), and Mom baked a pie. I had made brownies Friday night with sis, so we were stocked!
Sunday church was wonderful, and we had plenty of time to eat and clean a bit before I had to be at choir rehearsal before the concert, which went wonderfully!
They fed me again before leaving. It was the best weekend I could have had! :) Thanks fam!!

This coming weekend is the Salt Company Spring Retreat! We'll have almost 700 people there!!! Pray for us as we talk about the Glory of Christ. Everyone is super pumped! (I would say I'll get pictures, but I try to make promises I can't keep)

Birthdays are so fun! Can't wait for spring to come!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Encouraging encouragement

Well, that's all folks. The title gave me away.

Every Tuesday morning, I have the extreme pleasure of waking up before dawn (thanks winter) to see six wonderful, mostly smiling faces! There's always Jesus and usually some coffee involved. I love these ladies so so so much! And today, our fearless leader charged us with writing out ways we've seen God working in one another's lives.

"But encourage one another daily as long as it is called 'Today,' so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness." Hebrews 3:13 NIV 

Aside from hearing things other people see in me (which is always welcome,) I loved sharing ways that God works in others! Reflecting on all that God is doing allows you to broaden your outward look. I don't know about you, but I love to see how God is moving around me! And He's moving in really big ways!

Also, make sure to tell that person verbally or even in writing! I love looking back and seeing how I've grown and how God has been faithful!

How will you encourage someone today?

Friday, September 6, 2013

And thus begins my return

Today is Friday. The last time I blogged was a Thursday, so think of it like a continuation. (just tons of months later)

I returned once again to Iowa State!
I came back from Africa! God is doing crazy powerful things there. Can't wait to go back and see the fruit He produces!

Sights I love:
*image taken from
1. Campus. I love being here and seeing people I know!

2. This book I borrowed from my grandparents! (Thank you!!) So much truth in a short read. I recommend it with a cup of tea or coffee. :)

3. My church filled with college students. They said it well last night. It feels like coming home. :)

*image taken from @ISUSalt twitter page

*image taken from

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Connection group adventures!

Well, what a semester it has been! Today I got some shots for my trip overseas. Much to my surprise, I survived. There may have been cute bandaids involved. Here's how my past however long has been:

 In April, one of my connection group girls got baptized! My church has baptized so many people within the past month; it's so wonderful to see each time!

 This past week, most of my group and I went to a super park in Ames!! It doesn't look like Ames at all, so it's fun to sneak away! We walked down the crick, traversed a path, hunted for mushrooms, probably got a little sun, and enjoyed the nature all around us!
A cute elderly man walks his dog on this path.

 We all want to return in the fall and enjoy the leaves! These ladies have been a huge blessing to me this year.  I can't even write all their fabulousness in words! I love each and every one of them!! They've grown so much this year; it's been fun to see!

This year has been so wonderful co-leading with this wonderful lady!! It's been so much fun, we're going to do it again! Can't wait to see Mia after we each have a great adventure ahead of us this summer!
Somehow, I don't think we'll both come back this pale. Oh well!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Rain, rain go away!

I'm super sick of the rain here. I will, however, accept the rain instead of the snow my hometown has received within the past week or two. Sadly I don't have rain boots at college. When it's super cold and wet out, my toes are also super cold and wet. (wet socks ... ew)

But, here I will list as many positives I can think of concerning rain:
1. "April showers bring May flowers" (I'm hoping for tulips!)
2. Fields will be plenty ready for seed and hot summer days.
3. If the sun shone all the time, people would be far too happy about Iowa weather. The word would get out, and we would have a crazy influx of tourists.
4. It gives me a good excuse to curl up with a book.
5. It lengthens the tights-wearing season.
6. It makes the world smell good.
7. Cloudy, drizzly days are good for journaling with tea and Jesus.
8. We probably wouldn't be in Iowa without some crazy weather in spring.
9. I won't see a lot of it this summer.
10. It makes outside not so awfully hot all the time.

Yep, I couldn't have an odd-numbered list.

In other news, I have less than three weeks left of school this year. I have not posted as much this year compared to last year, however, I hope you will forgive me. Maybe I'll even do a finals week post with pictures from the past semester!