This must be His plan

As much as I hate the thought of leaving Ohio, my family, friends, our church, our home, I can’t help but to see God’s hand in this new adventure in our lives. Although I am nervous, sad and anxious about the move, I have peace knowing that this is what is supposed to happen in this season of my and Joe’s life. This excites me for the future and what it holds.

Let me list some of the things that have happened to direct us to Chicago… This is where I have seen God’s hand.

-I applied to graduate school to pursue my masters in speech pathology and was not accepted. This allowed us to further pursue graduate school for Joe. Although I was disappointed, I appreciate and have a clear understanding as to why this turned out the way it did.

-After visiting Trinity twice, we were convinced that this would be the best school for Joe to get the kind of education he wanted. After applying he was accepted and offered 2 scholarships.

-The two scholarships turned into one larger scholarship to our surprise!

-The apartment search was difficult and we stopped and started over many times not finding anything that met our needs- pet friendly, affordable, in a safe city and neighborhood. I called an apartment listed on an apartment search website and it was the number for a different complex that was closer to Trinity than I was expecting (7 miles). They met all of our needs and did circus tricks to make this our home. We haven’t seen our apartment, but the lady who has helped us has assured us it will be perfect!

-I recently was offered a job working as a preschool teacher after not looking as long as I expected to. This job offers benefits, pays well, and is in a field I love and feel quite comfortable.

These are only some examples that show why Joe and I feel this is where we are supposed to go. I’ll be honest, I was very unsure this was the direction we should go and I was very untrusting of Joe and of God. I was wrong to have those feelings and I am thankful we are trusting and taking these scary, but exciting steps in our life.

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Holiday Hangover

Its about time for an update….

The holidays have left me totally exhausted! However, a lot of it has to do with my real big-girl job (which I have yet to write about) and snot congested, bronchitis hacking, disgusting sickness I have had for MONTHS now. I have been to the doctor three times and on five antibiotics and two packs of Mucinex DM in the past two months. I was just given my fourth and fifth antibiotic Monday. Thankfully, I finally feel like I am getting better.

This transitions nicely into talking a little bit about my new job… Preschool/Kindergarten teacher at a private school/daycare in my home town! It is a lot of fun but challenging, a bit stressful, and I am completely exhausted and ready to go to bed by the end of the day; 5:30. But the kids make it all worth it. There are some crazy ones, rowdy ones, sweet ones, shy ones, affectionate ones, messy ones… but in my month of being there I have come to realize and accept that they are all just kids. Precious children. Children that God created with great creativity and design. This truth makes me look at all of them, even the stubborn ones differently. I am so blessed to have been hired for this job. It is a lot of work, but now have a paycheck and more than $4 in my checking account.

Christmas- Christmas was a great time spent with family. The big gift my brothers and I got was a pool table. I have been beating everyone… I surprised myself! Christmas meant so much more to me this year than any other year. I think that shows the spiritual growth I experienced this year. Recognizing Jesus’ birth as the greatest gift of all. The gift of SALVATION! Praise God!

New Years- Not only was this a celebration of a new year, but it also marked the one year anniversary of mine and Joe’s meeting. We met last year at a conference Crusade puts on, IndyCC. I had to work during the conference this year but i was able to make it for the New Year’s Eve celebration. “Get Your NE-ON” was the theme and it was a blast! The dance party was followed by praying in the New Year and an extended time of worship. (The picture below isn’t the best, but Joe and I are on the right. I found this picture on the IndyCC facebook page!)

2010 was probably the best year for me so far in my short 23 years. I experienced a lot of change; I fell in love, graduated from college, moved back home, was completely broke, got a job, and grew in my faith through many highs and lows. I can only imagine how FANTASTIC 2011 will be! I can’t wait to see what the Lord does this year!

A Month of Thanksgiving

This month I decided that in light of the Thanksgiving holiday I would write down each morning what I am thankful for. This is something that is on my 101 In 1001 list… what better month to do this?! Some are serious, others, not so much. Maybe you will learn a little more about me after reading this list.

I am thankful for…

11/1: God. His grace and love for me amazes me every time I think about it. I am thankful for His unconditional love for me.

11/2: Jesus Christ. Perfect and innocent who took on the sin of the world and died for me so that I can have an intimate relationship with the One who created me. (God and Jesus are the same… Thankful for His presence in my life.)

11/3: Family. They love me and are always rooting for me.

11/4: Friends. I have friends from many chapters in my life that have had an influence on me. They love me for me.

11/5: Joe Huddle. I love him. He treats me so great and is a wonderful example of a man of God in my life. I am so blessed to call him my boyfriend and best friend.

11/6: Dad. He has always made time for his kids. He is so funny and loves us so much. He is also a wonderful husband to my mom. I am truly blessed to have a positive example of a husband/father in my dad.

11/7: Mom. She loves us so so so much. She always wants what is best for us and has our best interest in mind. She has devoted hours attending our sporting events, planning graduation parties, birthday parties, making costumes, helping is with our homework, and… oh yeah she gave BIRTH to us! Thanks mom!

11/8: Kyle. Witty and creative. He makes me laugh (and everyone he meets) and has been such a great brother to Drew and I.

11/9: Drew. Another comedian. He can contort his face in so many ways it’s freaky. That’s random, but TRUE! The athlete of the family. “The only one worth recruiting.” I appreciate the relationship I have with both of my brothers. I pray that it is a bond that can never be broken, but one that gets stronger with time.

11/10: Generosity. This past summer I was raising support to work in ministry full-time. I was unable to raise enough  support but I was, and still am thankful for the generosity and support others showed me by coming alongside what I was doing and giving to me financially. This is something I may be pursuing again in the near future… praying for the generosity and support of others now.

11/11: Campus Crusade for Christ. Campus ministry on many campus’ all over the world. CCC was a ministry that I was involved in during my years at Bowling Green State University. Through this ministry I grew so much in my faith. I was challenged, taught, accepted, and loved. I am currently volunteering for the ministry at OSU.

11/12: My Health. Although I am fighting a  cold right now, I am very thankful for my health. My body and my health do not stop me from doing anything. I am not allergic to anything. I am active. I do not have any diseases. Etc. I realize that most people take for granted the health of their bodies and there are many people who suffer from thousands of different things. I am thankful for my health.

11/13: Sunrise/Sunsets. God has really been showing off recently. The sunsets have been absolutely gorgeous! I am thankful that I can look out my back window every evening and see the most beautiful artwork signed by the Creator of the universe.

11/14: My Car. I am thankful I have a car that operates pretty well, so far. She gets me where I need to go (after using a lot of gas) and gets me there safely.

11/15: Autumn Weather. I love the fall weather, especially recently! It has been an Indian Summer the last few days. I love all that Autumn has to offer!

11/16: Action Group. Being new to the OSU community, I had a lot of fears in the beginning. But the women in my AG (leadership bible study) have helped make me feel like part of their family. I love our discussions and sharing life with these women of God.

11/17: Bible Study Girls. The study I lead on campus is so great! It is great because of the community that has been formed. These girls are excited to open their bibles and learn as well as learn about one another. This study has also made me grow a lot as a leader and has humbled me tremendously.

11/18: Laughter. I love to laugh! Laughter is such great medicine. It is contagious. Ha! I said it was medicine and contagious! HAHA! Anyway, yeah, I love laughter!

11/19: Quiet Time. Time spent with God in the Word, reading, praying, journaling… Giving time to God daily is very important to me as well as something I am trying to improve on.

11/20: Full Moons & Dates. Full moons because it means it is close to my anniversary with Joe (8 months this month on the 25th). Dates because I love spending time with him. It really doesn’t matter what we are doing, I just LOVE being in his company. Today we went on a lovely date!

11/21: Church. The church my family and I go to only started 8 months ago. The Lord has done so much in that short amount of time. The pastor and staff are so great and have great messages for the congregation. The bible is taught and the Gospel is heard. Many have come to know Christ and are growing in their relationships with Him. NAC is a blessing, not only to me, but the community as well!

11/22: My Dogs. They are very sweet and I love them both. I am taking them to the groomer today, so I am sure I will be much more thankful for them after they smell better and get their hair cut.

11/23: Freedom. We live in a free nation. There are people who don’t… I am thankful to live in the United States of America, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

11/24: Soldiers. To all the men and women serving in the armed forces. I thank you for sacrificing everything to fight and protect our country and our freedom. Thank you for your service.

11/25: Today. I am thankful for today. Time spent with people that I love and who love me. Oh… and all the food!

Those are just some of the things I am thankful for. What are you thankful for? I suggest you take the time to do this. It really makes you realize just how truly blessed you are!

Happy Thanksgiving.

This seems familiar…

Once again, I have come to a point in my life where I do not know which path I should take. Where does God want me? Where can He use me?

It is funny to me, looking back at this time last year I was applying to twelve grad schools, hoping and praying I would get into just one. I chose to apply to intern with Campus Crusade for Christ as my “back up” plan. I ended up doing neither of those.

God brought me back to Columbus to live with my family and allow me to volunteer with OSU’s movement, RealLife. I am very happy the way this year has turned out. I am serving the Lord and He is teaching me so much about Himself.

But here I am again… WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE? This question seems all too familiar…

Last night, RealLife held a “Partnership Dessert” to give students information about our partnerships with Venezuela and Slovenia and how they could be a part of it too by going on spring break, Summer Project, or STINT (Short Term International). I went to learn more about what OSU is doing in these countries since I am a part of the staff team. I learned a lot! However, what was supposed to be an informational session for me, turned into a yearning to go and be a part of what is happening in one of these countries. Specifically Slovenia.

I have obviously had the desire for full-time ministry this past year and a half. I have also had my heart strings pulled for overseas missions. But, a year?! In another country?! Away from family and friends? Raise support for a second time? But, I didn’t even raise enough to intern in the US… in Ohio… in Bowling Green, Ohio. Could God really be wanting me to step out in faith and trust that He will provide a way for me to live in Slovenia for a year? Trusting that His plan for me is good and He will be with me wherever I go?

So currently, I am praying about this possible path the Lord is leading me down. The Lord will make His plan known to me in the right time. I have many fears, questions, concerns about this… but I will continue to seek Him in this, be open to the plans He has for me, and share with others my desires.

Seeking Direction

Seeking direction. Where do I go from here? What is next? Seeking, with the heart of a girl in her twenties wanting to serve God completely and wholeheartedly, not knowing what that exactly looks like. Ministry (staff)? Teaching? Interning? Summer Project? Spring break mission trip? Finances? Housing?

I feel like I am not even sure of my options at this point. Can I go on a Summer Project? I am not a student. What is realistic? Am I fully trusting God who has all wisdom and power? Who loves me and is good?

Praying about this and seeking God’s direction…

The Life of a Poor College Grad

It actually aint too bad, folks. Yeah, I don’t have money or a job. I am living at home with my parents, eating their food and buying the things I need with coupons and gift cards. Oh, and finding change lying around the house or under the seat of my car has become a highlight in my day! Haha I am actually serious… financially speaking I would not consider myself rich. However, in all other aspects of my life I am extremely wealthy!

I am so incredibly blessed it amazes me. There is so much joy in my life. I get to have a personal relationship with the One who created me and EVERYTHING around me. I can serve Him and work for Him through a campus ministry that I am in love with. I am surrounded by a community who loves Jesus and serves Him wholeheartedly. I have parents who love me and love having me home. I am currently free to do whatever I please. I am not tied down to a job that keeps me from interacting with friends,  family and new acquaintances. I have a man in my life who loves me for me. I have so much to be thankful for!

In terms of material things, I do not have much. It would be, and has been at times, easy for me to get upset with the situation I am in currently. But I am focusing on the things that really matter to me. Money, no matter how much or how little I have, will never make me feel alive or truly make me happy. I can experience happiness and joy in my relationships with others and with Jesus.

I know that these times are difficult in a person’s life. But there is so much more… As a Christian and Christ follower, I know that there is a greater hope for me. Greater than money, a new car, a house of my own… As Peter writes in 1 Peter,

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

The Lord has given us a hope in something that is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.” Being in relationship with Christ, glorifying Him in all we do, and keeping our eyes on the end goal (eternity in Heaven with Christ), will give us the utmost joy and happiness in this life.

How is it you are experiencing joy? Will it last?

It’s not where… It’s love

I am sitting here finding it hard to focus and find the motivation to get work done. I am still pursuing my efforts of support raising for my internship with Campus Crusade for Christ. I have quite a bit left to raise and only 20 days left to do it. In this time I am also keeping in the back of my mind what I will do if I am unable to raise my support.

What I truly desire is to go back to BG and work full-time with Crusade. I have been struggling lately with the reality that I may not be able to raise my support… then what? I am not sure.

God has been doing what He does really well and has met me right where I am during this. I have been reminded that it isn’t about where I am or what ministry I am working for. He cares that I love Him and show others His love… wherever I am.

If I can ask, whoever reads my blog, to please keep me in your prayers for the next couple weeks as I work to raise the rest of the support I need. Ask the Lord would raise up generous people who want to give back to Him and help support my ministry. Also, I am seeking direction from the Lord if this is not His plan for me.

Thank you for your support and prayers! I will keep y’all posted.