Monday, February 27, 2012

Lessons Learned From Skiing

   I know...I already blogged about my ski trip. However, I have something to add. :) I had a slightly frightful experience on my ski trip that turned out to be a nice lesson from Jesus. As I grow in intimacy with Jesus I am learning that we can truly learn something from Him in all situations. He has something to say. Just ask.
  A friend and I, both beginners, were skiing with a group but we got separated because we weren't quite as fast. Those who went ahead of us were supposed to be taking us on another ski lift, up a little higher into the mountains. While separated the two of us ended up going on a ski lift that took us up to the very top of the mountain. As I rode up to the top I thought it seemed a little too high of a slope for a beginner. However, I was determined to keep going up. Ha! When we got to the top I saw a sign for a beginners slope so I decided to stay at the top. My friend told me she wasn't quite so comfortable and thought that maybe we should go back down. I sensed in my spirit that we should ride the lift back down. Warning: in case you didn't know this, I am stubborn. We were at the top so I thought we might as well ski to the bottom.
My view as I sat on the mountain.
It doesn't look that bad, but really...
   The first few minutes of the ski were fine. We did great. After we rounded a turn we came into an open space that was very steep. We started skiing down and then we both kept falling to stop ourselves because it was intense. My friend took a really bad fall and just stopped. I was oblivious. I continued to ski down the mountain, fall, get up, ski a few feet, fall, get up, and ski a few more feet. My progress was very slow but I was determined to make it. During one of my times on the ground the ski patrol came and asked me to climb back up to my friend because she was done. She couldn't go any farther. She wasn't hurt. She was simply scared and didn't want to go any farther. I climbed back up to her, about 500 feet up. [Climbing uphill in the snow is very difficult!] I finally made it up to her and then we had to wait for another ski patrol to bring us back down the mountain on his snowmobile. We could only go down one at a time so my friend went first. While I waited for the ski patrol to come back God hit me with a thought.
    Because of my foolish determination to ski in a place that I wasn't ready to handle skiing in, I made a mess of my experience. My friend got stuck. I was freaked out but still skiing. I ended up having to sit on the side of the mountain and wait for a while. I took my life into my own hands. I knew I shouldn't have gone up that mountain. I felt the Holy Spirit telling me not to do it. I did it anyway. I made a mess. We do the same thing in our own personal lives. We say we want to follow God's guidance. When we choose our own way we are really saying 'Hey, God I think I got it from here. I know how to handle my own life.' WRONG! We can't do it on our own. We need God's guidance. We need help from God. On our own we make a MESS of our life. Just like I made a mess of that trip up the mountain.
     Are you struggling with something? Ask God for help. Then, listen to what He is saying. I promise you that life will go better that way. He really, truly, knows best. Just ask Him. :)

"Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he's the one who will keep you on track."
Proverbs 3:5-6
(The Message)

Safely at the bottom of the mountain!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Dear Friend Kaci :)

  Yesterday marked another important day. The birth of my friend Kaci. I've only known her for 2 1/2 years but it feels like SO much more. I feel as if we have been friends for life. The day I we said goodbye before I drove to Colorado Kaci made me a note called "I remember..." of all the fun memories we have had together. I am going to attempt to make the list, without cheating and looking at hers. Our "remembers" will be similar though. :) Here goes....

Dear Kaci,
I remember.....
      *The day we met. I stood in the food line behind you at Christian Challenge. Meghann, a mutual friend of ours, had already introduced herself to you. I decided it was going to be a stretching day. I introduced myself as well. I remember commenting on how you spell your name.
       *I remember when Meghann asked me if I would consider recommending you to my boss. I still didn't know you too well, but you seemed nice enough. So I did!
       *I remember how LONG it took for you to finally get hired at Daddy Cakes. It paid off!!
       *I remember visiting you on your 1st day at Daddy Cakes. I believe it was a Monday... ;)
       *I remember becoming good friends with you that 1st summer that we worked together.
       *I remember all of our wonderful Gilmore Girls marathons with Meghann
       *I remember the day we decided to go to the carnival. We went on our 1st ride. When it was coming to a stop I asked you if it had started raining. You looked over at me and said "I think someone just threw up on you." You tried your best to help me clean it off, ha ha! ;)
        *I remember going to World Cup for free coffee. While talking you randomly decided to drop your cup of coffee on the floor. (I think you fell asleep with your eyes open)
        *I remember the 1st night I was supposed to sleep at the XA house. No one else was going to be there. I didn't want to sleep alone so I stayed at your dorm, instead of driving the 7 minutes to my own house. ;-) Ah independence!!!
       *I remember walking around Washburn with you, lots of times!
       *I remember when you moved into the XA house!!
       *I remember late night hall study parties. Thank you MIS!
       *I remember all of our bathroom conversations and late night halls talks.
       *I remember taking a road trip to good old Chanute, KS with you and Meghann.
       *I remember when Orange Leaf 1st opened & I asked you if you wanted to go check it out but I was totally joking because it was 10:30pm. You got your shoes on and grabbed your purse and I just went to my room and waited to see what you would do. Sorry to disappoint you. ;)
       *I remember all of our late night coffee runs to Billy Vanilly......   
       *I remember putting away boxes at work and they all started falling down on us. We just started laughing!!
       *I remember walking to the gas station late at night to get coffee. We were super tired and kept laughing. You filled up your drink before me. When I was about 3/4 done filling up my drink you asked if I wanted to try your before I picked out my coffee. More laughter...
       *I remember Adam making us yummy German Chocolate frosting shots!!
       *I remember walking to DQ to celebrate finishing classes for the semester!
       *I remember being called your other half. It fits. :)
       *I remember the day when we got revenge on Erin for telling everyone that you got hepatitis from driving over my banana in the parking lot. Attack of the bananas!
       *I remember being each other's dates for our friend's weddings.
       *I remember laughing a lot........your laughter is contagious friend!!
 I love you Kaci!! I'm am SO glad that we became friends when we did. Let's be friends forever!

Happy Birthday Kaci!!

World Cup with Meghann and Kaci - January 2010

Kaci's Birthday - February 2010

Swimming - Summer 2010

Late Night Coffee Run
Valentine's 2011

Spring Break trip to Chanute, KS
Celebrating our FAVORITE...German Choc!! :)

Chelsea's Wedding - Fall 2011

Capturing the beauty of KS - fall 2011

Attack of the Bananas!! ;-)

Rachel's Wedding - January 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ski Trip!

       Two weeks ago I did something I've never done before. I went skiing. I was so scared before I went. I am a very adventurous and stubborn person, even if I'm scared. I try not to let fear stop me. So I went skiing!! It was part of community week in DLA.
      We went tubing the day before. SO. MUCH. FUN. It's like sledding but you ride down the hill on a tube and then a pulley system brings you back up to the top. You can save all of your energy on riding down the hill, not climbing up it. Amazing! :)

All of us attempt to tube down the hill.

      The next day we went skiing or snowboarding - depending on what you so desired. I've heard that if you've never done either skiing is your best bet. So that's what I did. Good thing too. Getting off of the ski lift is WAY harder than it looks on movies. I stood up from my ski lift seat and I fell on the ground and lost one of my skis. What a great way to start! ;) After about an hour or so I figured it out and could ski for a bit without falling over.
      FUNNY STORY: I fell down in a big snow drift. As I fell I felt something on myself falling. So I just laid there for a minute before one of the directors of the school, who was also teaching me how to ski, asked if I was okay. I said yes. He asked if my skis had fallen off. I said no. I had realized something at this point. So I told him that my pants had fallen off. Not only had they fallen down but they were halfway down my legs. How they fell that much I am not sure. So that was my embarrassing story from skiing. ;) *I was wearing snow pants on top of two other layers of pants so it wasn't quite so bad.*
      Here are some pictures. Do enjoy them please! :)

   1st off - we got a night on the town in Winter Park after we went tubing. So some of my friends and I decided to go out to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. Yum! What wonderful personalities we all have!
Austin, Caleb, Lindy

Christelle, me, and Kimdona
 Now for the skiing pictures..... ;-)
All ready for the day: Lindy, Christelle, and me

Caleb wants to be seen in the snow. ;)

Winter Park Resort

A couple of KS girls ready to go skiing!

Brenna's 1st time as well!

Up in the mountains

I stopped skiing to take some pics. ;)

Risking my life on the ski lift for a pic!

View from the Ski Lift

Front View from Ski Lift

Jill - my partner in crime down some hills.

Austin, me, Jill, and Matt

Me, Lauren, and Annie
  And these are some of the most awesome Men of God that I know. Striving to live their lives how God is calling them to and being examples to those around them along the way. I am very greatful for them!!!



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Best Friend = The Love of My Life

   I was listening to music via youtube today and I came across a song called My Best Friend by Hillsong United. This reminded me of a decision I made several years back. I have been blessed with lots of of great friends. However I don't call any of them my best friend. This is because I heard someone say one time that 'your best friend should be the person who brings out the best in you.' Hands down the one who brings out the best in me is most definitely Jesus. He always spurs me on to do bigger and better things than I think I can. Therefore the one I call my best friend is Jesus.
   Because today is Valentine's Day I've decided to tell you a little about the love of my life....who also happens to be my best friend. :-) It works out perfectly!

Dear Jesus,
   I remember....
       *Growing up knowing that you have always had a hand in my life. I was born early with heart problems and should have died, but God healed me. I now live a healthy life!
       *Asking Jesus into my heart up at the alter of Glad Tidings Church
       *Praying year after year to go to my dream school, Cair Paravel. I got to go!
       *Being baptized in Lake Shawnee and telling everyone how much I loved Jesus. I still do. ;)
       *Watching you save my father from death when he had massive blood clots in his body and should have died. However...he is still alive today! :)
       *When you asked me to let go of my dream school and go to a public high school. It was hard but I did it and I don't regret it. One of my friends came back to you after I invited her to come to church with me!
        *When I prayed for younger siblings. Instead you gave me Mikaela, Ariel, Gabriel, and Zechariah, the best nieces and nephews a girl could ask for.
        *Going on my 1st missions trip to Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico. I fell in love that week....
        *Looking for my first job. The one place I did not want to work was where you called me. I am so glad I worked there because you gave me countless opportunities to share my faith.
        *When I bought my 1st car. The dealership told me I wouldn't be able to find a car for less than $3000 (my budget) that ran well. I found a car for $1900 and I have had it for over 4 years. Oh yeah!!!
       *When I went to Mexico my semester after high school. Through being there I gained such a boldness and learned what it meant to truly rely on Jesus.
        *When I said I wanted to go to college but remain debt free. Some might think that crazy. However I thought of it as an opportunity to believe in God to be my provider. After 2 1/2 years of college + DLA I am still debt free. AND I did not live at home last year!!
        *Looking for a job when I got back from Mexico. Daddy Cakes (now Billy Vanilly) looked like a place I would love to work, but wouldn't have enough talent for. You told me to apply so I did. WHAT a blessing that job was. I could go on and on...
        *Staying up super late one night I came across DLA. I teared up while I was reading about the school (probably because it was 4am) because it was EXACTLY where I felt I was made to go. Yet you said wait. One day you told me it was time. Now I'm here!
        *Countless things you have set me free from in this last 6 months...shame, fear, so much...
        *The day you filled me with joy. I couldn't stop laughing (in the middle of a serious prayer time I might add) :-)
        *The day you promised me that my father would be healed. Best Day Of My Life!!!!!!!
        *All my silly crushes I had but never any boyfriends. You (Jesus) told me that you didn't want to share me yet, but you wanted me to fall in love with you instead. I since embarked on the best journey I've even been on. Jesus has and is continuing to capture my heart. Daily.

AH!! I love you Jesus!! Thank you for being the best Valentine ever. I'll never regret the years I gave to just spending time with you. Someday I'll have to share you with someone else. For now, I'll enjoy OUR time together.


  The characteristic that God has been revealing to me most lately is this, His faithfulness. According to Webster's New World Dictionary the definition of faithful is: loyal, conscientious, accurate, reliable. Jesus is proving to me daily that He is loyal. He is reliable. Ahh, He is so amazing!! :)

"The Lord is faithful to all his promises
and loving toward all he had made."
Psalm 145:13

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Dear Friend Rachael ;)

 Since I am not home to actually celebrate with my friends for their birthdays this year, I am choosing to write about them instead. :)
  My dear friend Rachael loves the #12. It has a lot to do with the fact that her birthday is February 12th. This year she turned 25!!! And the date was 2/12/12 .....perfect for her!
  I love thinking back over the years and the fun memories I have with friends. Here goes....

Dear Rachael,
 I remember...........
    When I saw you at church for one of the first times. Little did I know how close we would be later on.......
    When you came to my 17th birthday party, although we weren't quite friends yet... ;-)
    When you came over to help bake cookies with us at Christmas
           (Sometime between my birthday & Christmas we became friends!)
    When we went on a youth bowling trip and you made fun of my bowling style. ;)
    When we were at youth camp & I yelled at a boy for being mean to you
    When we TP'd Josh's house and got caught. We went back again & didn't get caught!
    When we did a book study together on The Divine Romance
    When we saw the movie Prom Night & some lady yelled through the whole thing
    When we were at youth camp & we sat with a boy I liked while he ate breakfast 
    When we sat in each other's cars and talked for hours...multiple times...
    When we ran around Washburn together AND you made me run 4 miles. Craziness!
    When I gave you 'boyfriends,' one of which turned out to be a creeper. Whoops!
    When we worked out at WU's gym. You are my favorite exercise partner!
    When we had Anthropology class together....and the most interesting of teachers...
    When we went to Mexico together & I got to introduce you to all my friends
    When I threw a surprise birthday party for you but you had to show up in your workout clothes, which you weren't too pysched about
    When you introduced me to the idea of eating popcorn inside of a tortilla
    When we went to countless concerts together: WinterJam, Sonshine Festival, Skillet/Hawk Nelson, working for the Newsboys
    When I helped you with your psychology project and I had to talk to strangers. Eek!
    When you came to the XA house and your car died in the parking lot. Every time you came.
    When we climbed up a tree at Lake Shawnee & talked about all the things God had been doing in our lives. And then we talked about our future lives. We're getting old. ;-)
    When I watched you graduate from Washburn University after all your hard work!!
     When you turned 25.....oh wait...that wasn't so long ago! ;)
  I remember so much more about our friendship together. But I won't share it all. I look forward to many many MANY more years of friendship with you.

My 18th Birthday

KU Basketball Game Winter 2008
Hawk Nelson Concert 2009

WinterJam 2010

Going Away Party - August 2011

Fall 2011 - one of my trips home

 WU Graduation!! Winter 2011

 I love you Rachael! Happy 25th Birthday!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

One of the Loves of My Life

  Last Monday, February 6th, was a very important day. It was the 8th birthday of my handsome nephew Gabriel. I think it may have been the 1st year that I was not there for his birthday. I got to call him and talk on the phone during the family birthday party, so that made me feel a little closer to home. :)
  Gabriel is such a special kid! We have always had a close bond. When my sister was pregnant with him I used to sing to her stomach and talk to him. I claim that as the reason why we are so close. Here are just a few of the reasons why I love him:

  *Gabriel has a very generous heart
  *Gabriel loves Jesus very much
  *Gabriel can be quite the romantic kid...he loves to go on 'boy-girl' dates
  *Gabriel has written several stories of Gabriel and Stefanie because he loves his Aunt Stefanie
  *Gabriel loves people
  *Gabriel loves to sing - he used to go around singing Tobymac's song "Made to Love" to everyone
  *Gabriel loves his Aunt Stefanie (I couldn't help repeating that!)

   I might be slightly biased, but I think he's the coolest 8 year-old boy I know. :)

Happy belated Birthday to Gabriel!!!

Beginnings - February 2004

Fall 2004

Swimming in the summer of 2006

InternationalFest 2006

Fall Festival 2007

Christmas 2007 - Spiderman Blanket

School Carnival 2008

Winter 2009
Summer 2010 at Daddy Cakes Cupcakes

Summer 2011
Driving me to Colorado for DLA in 2011