Friday, January 27, 2012

Garden of the gods...

  Last weekend it was 60 degrees outside so I took advantage of that and went to Garden of the gods with some of my good friends. We walked around inside the park. Normally I drive around and walk in a different spot so I absolutely loved it! For some reason this is one of my most favorite places to go....I love feeling small compared to how large God and His creation is. Even though it makes me feel small it also makes me feel protected. God is SO much bigger than me!

God = Big
Me = Small

Caleb explaining how to capture a 'great' picture


Me and Lindy

One of the many faces of Caleb...and Lance on the left

We played in here a bit. :)

Our group!
Lance, me, and Josh on the top
Kimdona, Lindy, Mali, and Caleb

Me and Mali!!

Practicing a 'trust fall'...

Need I say...God is awesome!!!
  Because I love this place I took lots of pictures!!!!!!!! I hope you enjoyed them. :)

Funny Story:
When I first came to Colorado my mom and Gabriel drove up as well. While we were driving through Garden of the gods Gabriel says "Why does it say Garden of the gods? There is only one God!"
Gabriel is already becoming a mighty man of God and he is only 7 (8 on Feb. 6). :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hidden Beauty

 A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of driving through western KS to make it back home to Colorado. Yes, my home is in Colorado. At least for the year. I always have a difficult time adjusting at first, but in the end I love where I am. This is how I feel about CO. It's my home. :) Anywhoo....
 I was driving through the flat plains. This trip was particularly hard because #1 - I wasn't quite ready to head back and #2 - my stereo in my car broke & I have no music. While driving I prayed and told God, 'you've got to make this trip easier because I can't make it!!'
  He brought to my attention this song by Gungor called Beautiful Things. There is a line in it that says 'You make beautiful things out of the dust.' This got me thinking about creation. Yes, it is SO much easier for me to see the beauty in the mountains of Colorado. However it says in Genesis 1:31 "God saw all that He had made, and it was very good." It doesn't say He saw all of the mountains He had made and it was very good, but those KS plains, eeh, not so good. It says ALL that He had made. This means, although I don't always find my drive through KS exciting, it is still good.
  God doesn't make mistakes. He didn't simply forget to add depth to KS. He simply made it good in a different way. Hey, if all we saw was mountains we would not enjoy them quite so much as we do now because the terrain is different. I decided I would change my attitude and enjoy my drive through KS!
  On my way to KS and back to CO I decided to explore KS. I heard about something called Monument Rocks in KS that I decided to check out. Pretty impressive....and yes...this is actually KS.

  On my way back to Colorado I stopped at Wilson Lake. My pictures don't quite capture it, but it was actually a really neat place to stop. In the spring, when everything is in bloom, I imagine it is super cool!

I thought the bridge was cool...

It's not flat! ;)

I just thought this was cool...
a tiny house on top of this rock.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


  Last Saturday night felt like the Superbowl. For the Broncos fans it was. The Broncos made it far enough to be in the running for the Superbowl. They played the Patriots. It was exciting...before the game began. As it went on however I felt really bad for the Broncos. I felt like I was watching a Chiefs game. Sad business. The game ended Broncos 10 - Patriots 45. It was fun getting together with people from and in the actual state that was playing the game!! GO BRONCOS!!

Lindy and me

The Ryal's...lovely family we partied with! ;)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

God answers prayers....

  Something happened during my break that reminded me of how faithful God is. Actually, several things happened, but one in particular stood out to me. One day my dad came home from work and handed me this:

 To me, this speaks volumes. You see, my dad and I haven't always had the best of relationships. We have similar personalities so we clashed a lot when I was growing up. Also, I HATE when people argue. My parents kind of argued a lot and I wanted to be the peacemaker. However, by my jumping into situations I just made it worse and I would end up getting in a fight, mostly with my dad. It's rather ironic that I would yell to try & stop them from fighting but I was a kid/teenager...Okay, that's not a good excuse and I know it. No worries, God has shown me a lot in the last few years. I am growing up. ;) And God has been putting a new love inside of my heart for my dad....which grew out of prayer. 
 Before I found out about DLA I heard a song by Desperation called 'Light up the World.' It is such a good song but my favorite line that I would always sing a little louder than any other one is this 'I'm gonna believe that fathers and their children will unite.' God does hear us. He does answer us. It just doesn't always happen on our time frame. Do not give up. Take heart and keep praying!!

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other
and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love,
which binds them all together in perfect unity."
Colossians 3:12-14

 My other occurrance which reminded me that God does hear me happened the Sunday before I left. I was thinking back over my break and I had this thought, I didn't even speak it out loud, that I really wished I had gotten to spend more time with my brother one-on-one. A few hours later my brother asked me if I wanted to go out to lunch the next day. Of course I said yes! :-) God just blew my mind. I hadn't even uttered my prayer out loud, it was just a thought. It was as if God was reminding me that He sees everything that goes on inside of my heart. He cares. He really does. :) :) :) :) :)

I LOVE my brother Shaun!! :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Home ;-)

    I love Jesus. I love my family. I love my friends. My break was fantastic because I got to spend time with them all! I definitely spent time alone with Jesus, because, He is my source of joy, energy, strength,  and life. Without Him, without spending time with Him, I am miserable. So...why would I not spend time with Him. I definitely spent time with my family. They are so near and dear to my heart. I feel so very blessed to call each member someone that I love. I definitely spent time with my friends. I live 500 miles away from them. I'll take advantage of the times I have with them!  And now, it's time for pictures! I am trying to keep some of my posts shorter since I have had several longer ones recently....  ;-)

I started my break off my going to my good friend Rachael's graduation from Washburn University!!

I Really wanted to buy her flowers...but I didn't have time...
The thought counts right? ;-)

Starbucks with GREAT friends!!

We spent 3 1/2 hours at Starbucks....
definitely had lots to catch up on!
p.s. Ari came with us...she just didn't think she was 'picture worthy'

Kaci and Kelsey

Tay and Kaci

Me and Kelsey
Winter Wonderland w/Rachael
My mom and Karen came as well...I just can't post their picture. ;)

Winter Wonderland!!

Going under the tunnel at Wonderland
Coffee with Sarah at Classic Bean!! :)

Date with Mikaela,
my Beautiful almost teenaged niece!
Zech fell asleep...
we partied too late for a 4 year-old at his dad's 30th birthday party...

I did so much more than these pictures show...I just got too caught up in the moment sometimes to take pictures. Being away from home and going back makes my time home all the more precious!

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Goofy Self

  I hung out with my good friends Kaci and Meghann today. :) We watched Gilmore girls...a mutual favorite show of ours. When I arrived at Meghann's house I was carrying in my water bottle and Meghann said, "that's a really interesting water bottle." I looked down and realized that the cup holder of my car had come out along with the water bottle and attached itself. Whoops!

P.S. Pray for me please....I believe I am in for some weather shock as I go back to CO. It is a high of 55 degrees on Tuesday, it has been in the 50s and 60s basically all break, and there is a forecast of snow on Wednesday! :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

onething 2011

  I have been wanting to just write a little bit about onething conference, but I've been waiting to find this incredible song I heard before I could share with you. Silly I know! ;-) My friend found the song for me today so I am delighted to share with you now!!!
 Onething Conference is a gathering of around 25,000 people coming together to seek God in worship and prayer. IHOP (International House of Prayer) puts it on. Mike Bickle, the director of ihop, spoke....about purity in relationships....and he spoke about Jesus coming for His bride. Misty Edwards, author of the song You Won't Relent, spoke on the greatest commandment and how we must seriously love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. The theme of this year's conference was "Jesus, our Magnificent Obsession." Misty tied that theme into her sermon so well. She brought up how God wants us to get rid of everything that gets in the way of perpetual conversations that run through our minds and separate us from God. Deny ourselves daily.
  The crazy thing about this is that the day before I went to onething conference, God spoke to me and told me several things that I need to get rid of. Things that were separating me from the growth I so desired with Jesus. I LOVE God's timing. To say it is perfect is an understatement. Yet to say it is perfect is exactly the word I know to describe it. According to Webster's New World Dictionary the definition of perfect is this: complete in all respects; flawless; completely accurate. This is exactly what God's timing is when we truly let Him have control. God's plan is complete in all respects. God's plan is flawless. God's plan is completely accurate.
  Lou Engle spoke on how 'God is going to unleash a dream explosion' among His people. 'Dreams become invitations to intercession.' God is waking up His children. He is opening our ears to hear. He is speaking to His children. It is time for us to hear Him.
  The crazy thing about this is that God has begun to speak to me in dreams and visions. One day in November I took a nap during the day. I had the craziest dream of my life. I called my mom to tell it to her. As I was sharing about my dream God began to give me the interpretation of the dream. It was The Coolest Thing ever to see that my dream had a spiritual meaning behind. I shared that dream with a few people whom I believe the dream was intended for. After I shared this dream God began to speak to me through different pictures and visions. I firmly agree with Lou Engle that God is awakening His children. He has stirred something up inside of me and I know I am not the only one. If you have had a dream lately, take the time to ask God if He has something to speak to you through that dream. Have a picture in your head that you aren't sure where it came from. Ask God. It's quite possible He is trying to speak to you!!
New Year's Eve Dance Party
 The craziest, best thing about onething conference 2011 was our dance party we had on New Year's Eve with worship leader Cory Asbury. He lead us in an incredible time of worship and praise. We danced like crazy and worshiped Jesus. Worshipping Jesus with thousands of other believers is the best way I can think of to bring in the New Year. I was looking up music from the conference the next day and I read something that one of the artists said: 'Worshipping Jesus with 25,000 people is just a taste of what heaven is going to be like.' Ah, it's going to be So crazy the day we get to stand in the throne room of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and worship Him as He truly deserves!!
Some of my DLA friends...

 *Silly note* I am SO out of shape that I was limping around my house for 4 whole days because I SO overdid it jumping on New Year's Eve. I was a very pathetic sight to see. ;)

  Okay...I waited to write this blog until I found this song. Cory Asbury, a man who sits at the feet of Jesus while he writes his songs, has a new song called Never Gonna Leave Me Dry. It was exactly the song I needed to hear at that precise moment. I had been having a crazy week and I wasn't sure whether or not God really wanted me to go back to DLA for the rest of the year. Satan was using people and silly things to attack me. Luckily, God won that battle! Jesus used this song to speak to me and remind me that I am exactly where He wants me for right now.
 This song is not officially out on cd yet, just on youtube. I wrote the lyrics down to the best of my ability. Some of you know I have difficulty understanding the words of songs sometimes...I tried my best though! ;-)

Never Gonna Leave Me Dry
Cory Asbury

Hear me oh Lord when I cry
I am broken, I'm thirsty, and I'm dry
God make complacency my enemy and your fight
Let desperation be like David's key for my life

Surely, surely goodness and mercy follow me
My cup runneth over, my cup runneth over
The broken, and the contrite, you have yet to deny
I lay before you, I lay there before you

And you're never gonna leave me dry,
 No you don't, no you don't, no you don't
You're always willing, my cup you'll be filling
And You fill us with your love, overwhelm us with your love
Take us from the ashes, seat us with princes
It's what you, it's just what you do!

And you're never gonna leave me dry!
No you don't, no you don't, no you don't
You're always willing, my cup you'll be filling!!

*Here is the link so you can listen to the song yourself if you so desire*

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Best Christmas Ever...part 2

 I may have gotten a little distracted. I wanted to finish sharing about my Christmas before I posted anything else, but life got in the way. This is the rest of my Christmas story. ;)
Gabriel, my 7 year-old nephew, got a 'medium sized Bible' for Christmas from my parents. It is no longer a children's Bible and it is not quite an adult Bible, which he called an 'enders Bible.' He wanted to read us something out of his Bible...Ezekiel 7. I said "Gabe do you know what my favorite scripture is? Ezekiel 37. Those are close!" Then Gabe realized that was what he meant to say. Gabriel read us Ezekiel 37.
  I asked Gabe why he wanted to read that passage with us. He said it was because he really liked when I shared it at Thanksgiving. (One of my things that I shared that I was thankful for was how God brought Ezekiel 37 to my attention. He gave it to me as a promise for my father.) To hear that Gabe was paying that much attention during Thanksgiving that Ezekiel stood out to him moved me deeply. Sometimes we aren't sure how closely children are listening. They hear more than we think they do!
  To know why that passage has such meaning to me read Dry bones. It was so incredible to have that scripture incorporated into yet another holiday. God directed Gabriel for sure! What made that time even more special was that Titus, Gabriel's dad, asked Gabe if he knew what the importance of that passage was. Why did God tell Ezekiel to prophesy life over the dry bones? I honestly did not know myself so it was very cool to hear. The Israelites felt that they were too far gone for God to redeem them and use them. God said no. If He can raise up dry bones from death and create an army out of those dry bones then there is no one that is too far gone for Him to use.

Christmas Eve at Kiku's
  I shared in my last Christmas post how we sat around the dinner table and shared things that we like about Jesus. I wanted to include exactly what those things are this time. :)
  Some things my family likes about Jesus:

I like that Jesus is forgiving.
   I can read the same verse a year later and get something new out of it, that applies to my life now that wouldn't have meant the same thing if I had looked at it last year. [Mike]

I like His communication skills.
   He didn't stoop down to the level of people questioning Him. Example: the pharisees. He answered what they needed to hear, not what they wanted to hear. [Titus]

I like that Jesus died on the cross. [Ariel]

I like that He saved us because if He didn't we wouldn't be alive. [Gabe]

I like how His Word was written years and years ago but it is still applicable today. [Amanda]

I like that Jesus calls us His friend.
   We aren't just chess pieces that He plays with. He wants relationship with us. [Stefanie]

I like that He leads by example. [Alex]

I like how He allows things to happen in our life to show us that we need Him.
   Then we can look back and see what God has done. A lot of people look back at their past badly but we need to look back and see what we've overcome. [Shaun]

One thing that I like about Jesus is that He is Emmanuel "God with us."
   Often times He allows us to feel His presence personally. God is just always showing me how He is with us. [Debbie]

One last thing...
    I wanted to share with you my very most favorite Christmas gift I received this year. It might seem a little silly to you, but that's okay because it wasn't your gift, it was mine. On Black Friday this year I went shopping with my mom, sister, and friend Alex who came home from DLA with me. We walked by this cart that had ornaments you could buy and personalize. They had a cute one that was a family of peas, in a pea pod. Each pea had a red Christmas hat on it which you could personalize the family member's name on it. They had a family of five, perfect for my sister's family. They also had an ornament with just two peas in the pod. I said, 'That's perfect for me. It could say me and Jesus, to symbolize my year with Jesus.' A few weeks later I was thinking about the cute ornament and I thought - 'I hope they didn't think I was joking about that because I would really Love that!' I should include...peas are my very favorite vegetable so it was all around perfect for me. ;)
  On Christmas morning I opened my present from my sister's family and low-and-behold, I got my ornament. It turns out my sister wasn't sure if I really would like it, so she was a little worried. It was however the perfect gift for me! I've given God this year. I forever and always would like to remember my year in DLA and the times I spent with God. I now have a reminder of that.

   Every year on Thanksgiving we take a family picture together. My dad however has not celebrated Thanksgiving with us for many years. This means our family picture is never complete. God told me to ask my sister if we could take a picture on Christmas. We did and this is our complete family, plus our friend Alex from church.