Monday, December 7, 2009

Sunshiney spots in my last few weeks. :)

Life has been getting more and more crazy as the semester winds down. Between papers and finals, dorm stuff, and work, I hardly have time to stop and think, but amidst all of the flurry of activity, I thought I'd share some moments with you that brought a smile to my face. You may understand some of them...you may not. That's the fun of it.

-I smiled when I pulled into the Dairyland parking lot at about 11:00 p.m. and then watched Becky pull in a few moments later in the Grey Beast. We had a grand time together. :)

-A few days ago, I sat for a good 15 to 20 minutes watching baby Kate move around in Bethany's tummy and I smiled. I love to put my hand on her tummy and feel the baby give a strong kick! Can't wait to meet that lil lady!

-A few nights ago, I talked to Peter for almost 3 hours on the phone. I can't wait to see that boy.

-A few of you know that I now have a job working as a Health Care Assistant for a lady with Alzheimers. Her name is Annabelle. She is completely bedridden and isn't really able to interact with people. She talks/moans constantly, repeating the same phrases over and over again...usually things like "I can't help it" or "where to go?" or "That's terrible." Every now and then, her awareness increases and she uses that time to urgently look at me and say "you're my sweet baby" or "thank you" or "I'm glad you're here." It's always the same phrases repeated forcefully, several times in a row. Well, the other night, I was sitting with her, holding her hand as she dozed off and on. At one point, she opened her eyes and looked at me. I smiled at her and said "You look beautiful today, Annabelle." She smiled back (it was the first time I'd ever seen her smile) and laughed softly. She said in a completely relaxed and normal voice "You're named somethin'....what is it?" So I said "I'm Grace." She reached up slowly and touched my cheek and said "That's wonderful. That's nice. I like it and I like you. Thank you for staying with me and helping me." Then I smiled really big. She talked like that for about 3 minutes before lapsing back into her normal moanings and mumblings. Those 3 minutes were the best out of the entire time I've been working there!!!

-I smiled when I was telling Elisabeth funny stories and heard her laugh really hard.

-I smiled when I received a voicemail from Becky yesterday in which she was laughing so hard I could barely understand her. Why? Because I put the Star Wars soundtrack on her ipod and whenever the Imperial March comes on, she finds herself absentmindedly, but very vigorously moving her head along to the music.

-I smiled when I was giving little Jack and Owen their bath tonight and it was Owen's turn to tell a story (he's 2). He looked at me very seriously and said "My story is about crocodiles, monkeys, and crazy varmints. THE END"

-A few weeks ago, I sat on my ex-roomie but bestest NTBI buddy Kaylee's lap. (that was a fun sentance) I told her that I wanted ballet slippers, chocolate, the state of Arkansas, and a pony for Christmas. The other night she t told me very excitedly that she had my Christmas present. She gave me a fabulous old fashioned hat box. And in that box was: ballet slippers, chocolate, the deed to the state of Arkansas, and the eiffle tower. She then gave me a paper that pointed me in the direction of my locker where I found a blue cowboy hat and my new Pony, Armande. Needless to say, I was extremely happy. I smiled.

As you can see, there have been many sunshiney spots recently....and there are so many more, but this is turning into a novel....SO I'll leave you with the best one.

-Tonight I babysat Jack and Owen. We were in the middle of building a plank to send the scalawags off of when Jack, age 4, stopped and looked at me for a second. "Gracie....can I ask you a question?" I put my "plank" material down and said "sure!" He paused and smiled shyly......."Will you marry me?" Of course I said yes....we just have to wait a while. haha I smiled.


I'm coming home on Saturday and THAT, my friends, makes me smile, smile, smile!!!!!
See you all soon!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Soooo...my school is a little different than most schools....

About 2 weeks ago, my friend Tessa came up to me and said "I hope your afternoon is free....Rex is taking us for a drive." You might ask....who is Rex? Rex Gutwein is the President of NTBI, Jackson. He is one of the sweetest people in the world!!! I like to just wander into his office and talk to him. He gives phenomenal advice and is really one of the most caring people I've ever met. So that day, me, Tessa, and our friends Michelle and Febe all piled into Rex's car and he took us on his favorite scenic drive to see all of the spectacular colors in all of the trees! It was remarkable!!! We'd drive and someone would say "STOP" and he'd halt the car and we'd all pile out and they would take pictures. (I would have, but my camera is in California. Sad day.) There were some of his favorite spots that we'd have to hike through the woods to find. We ended in a beautiful old cemetery. As odd as it sounds, I love old cemeteries. The history behind each person there is so intriguing to me. Plus, I just think they're plainly beautiful. Anyway, after we drove and looked for almost 3 hours, Rex took us back to his house and we had dinner with him and his wife Linda. Then he built us a fire in his backyard and we sat around and chatted for a few more hours. It was truly one of the highlights of my entire semester! Here are some pics from the day, taken my the lovely Michelle Outson. She's phenomenal. ;)

Me & Tessa



Michelle!!!






This headstone dates all the way back to 1777!!! I love being able to see and touch things that are that old. Each person has a story. I find it fascinating!!!


I know this is a really long post...but you have to admit...the pics are great! Good job Michelle and thank you Rex!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A few pics of my girls. :)


Callie, Jessalyn, Me, Kelsey, Kati, Kristi, Kara, and Michelle





Yay for throwing leaves!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

It is finished.

"My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!"
~Horatio G. Spafford "It Is Well"

Colossians 2:13-14
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.



I love the picture that this paints in my head. It has such finality. It's not about me and what I'm doing, it's all about Christ and what He has done. It is finished.
My sin, not in part but the whole, is nailed to the wonderful cross of Jesus Christ, and I bear it no more!! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Becoming.

As many of you know, the last month has been a difficult one for me in the area of "relationships." But I've had a great epiphany relating to this topic. Would you like to hear it? GREAT!

So, Christian culture today speaks loudly to girls about their search for the perfect man of God. Lists seem to be huge. I've been told numerous times to make a list of what I'm looking for in a guy and I know countless numbers of girls who have made them...some have even made more than one. I'm not saying that list-making is wrong. I've never done it mainly because I hate lists..despise them. But lately, I began to think about the possibility of making one. Especially after "Family Relationships" class....have you ever wanted a class on Biblical dating, marriage, and parenting? That's the one! I wrote down all of the qualities that were popping out at me like integrity, humility, respect, purity...etc. Then as I was contemplating making this grand list for this non-existent man of mine, we were assigned 1 Peter 3:1-7 to memorize. The part that pertains to women and wives says this:
"Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious."

This really got me. Even though I'm single, respect and purity should characterize my life as well. The part that really stood out though was the end of the passage. I began to ponder...what does a gentle and quiet spirit look like? How would that manifest itself my life? This is something that God considers to be precious. I want to have the character that is precious to God!
So as I pondered the value of a gentle and quiet spirit, I began to think back to "the list". I tried to think of what men I know who live their lives and interact with their wives in a manner that reflects what I've been finding in Scripture. Bob Baldwin. Mike Sullivan. Richard Bargas. Joel Potter....just to name a few. All of these men value the Word and as I see them with their wives, they worship the ground she walks on!!!
Whoa...............RED LIGHT!!!
They worship the ground she walks on. What makes me think I'm even close to deserving a guy like this?! So what makes these women so deserving of these phenomenal men? Maybe it has something to do with these characteristics that I have been finding in the Bible.
So what all these thoughts have finally led me to is this: Maybe right now, while I'm single, I need to spend less time seeking the perfect guy and spend more time becoming the woman that is described in Scripture. Why throw all of my energy into setting a bunch of standards and expectations for a guy when I haven't even set any standards for myself to live up to? I need to be in the Word allowing the Lord to transform me into His image. If I am in the Word and becoming more and more like Christ, then a guy who is truly seeking the Lord just might find me along the way. But I truly should work and endeavor to be deserving of such a fantastic man.

SO....all of that to say..... Grace, it's time to stop seeking and start becoming.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pray for me please!

The Lord was so so faithful in providing the money that I needed to get back here this semester! My semester is completely paid off!! As I get closer to the end of this semester, I'm faced with the reality that in order to come back in January and graduate with my class, I have to come up with approximately $3,500-$4,000. Whereas in the past, I've either had enough savings to be completely covered or I've had time to get a job and work to raise money, this time, I'll have about a month in between semesters. I had $700 left over this semester, however, within the last few days I've gotten 3 hospital bills from the beginning of the semester amounting to either $350 or more like $600-ish.....all depending on if I'm reading right and understanding it. It doesn't look like my insurance is going to cover it, so it's coming out of my pocket. Ouch.
I know that God is in control of the situation. I know that it's not the end of the world if I have to take a semester off and work and then finish up next fall. But we're a close class and it would mean the world to me to be able to graduate with them!!!
I would like to ask you all to please pray for me! Pray that the Lord would provide and ultimately, please pray that I would be able to trust God and rest in Him. I know that nothing is to big for him, as daunting as this seems. But I really need to trust him completely!!!
Thanks so much for your prayers!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Meet Hazel & Domingo :)

So you've all heard me talk about Hazel and Domingo from my church....at least I think you have. They have adopted all New Tribers that have attended their church for many, many years. Every Sunday afternoon we head over to their lovely house where they feed us, and then we just hang out....sleep....do homework....talk...hike through their woods and feed the fish in their lake....ah yes, it's lovely. They are two lovely, loving people. They love to make me sing for them in Spanish as often as possible. Domingo can also be called Cupid...he loves to matchmake...sometimes not so well. lol But he is wonderful and adorable. I call him Abuelito. When I came to their house after being away for the summer, he gave me a huge hug and said "Welcome home." I truly think that people like Hazel and Domingo and the Potters are the reason that I have hardly been homesick since I first came to NTBI. I am truly blessed!

Pictures courtesy of Abigail Smith (and doctored up by meeeee)


Meet Domingo. :)


Meet Hazel, Domingo, and my wonderful friend Steven.


And here are some pics of their lovely property.










Aren't the fall colors phenomenal?! I love this time of year. :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

He is forever faithful!

I'm so amazed at the greatness of our God!
In my last post I asked you all to pray for Matty. He was $700 behind and had 2 days to come up with the money. One day in, I asked for an update and he had managed to get$100. He was keeping a smile on his face and just kept saying, "I'm on the right track! God can do anything!" Well, the day of doom finally came and he hadn't come up with the money, so he went in to the Dean of Students, Dan Falls, to hear the verdict.
Dan asked if he had the rest of his tuition money.
Matt said no.
Dan says...."really?"
Matt says............."um.....yes."
Dan says "you have all of it."
Matt says.....what?!?!?
Apparently, someone had put $1250 on Matt's account! Not only did he have the money that he was behind on, he is now way ahead in his payments!
God is so incredibly amazing!!
Thanks to those of you who prayed for Matt!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Please Pray!

My friend Matt has been having financial struggles and they've set Friday as the deadline. If he doesn't get enough money by then, he's going to have to go home. He's been trying so hard to find a job since he arrived here and it seems impossible. In the words of the very dated, but very good song Dream Big..."I love the word impossible because that's what God does best!"
Matt is here for God and God alone and it would break my heart to see him have to leave.
Please pray for him!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Kindergarten

Sometimes I think I'd like to return to kindergarten. School was easy. We got nap-time, snack-time, and recess. Coloring was a daily part of life (boy do I miss that...). The world was seemingly carefree. Every time I fell down I got a band-aid and a kiss from my mommy. Decisions were made for me and heartbreak was healed by a simple hug from someone who cared. Spiritual responsibility was limited to Jesus loves me and children obey your parents. Life was easy and I was cared for.

However............is easy always better? No, Grace. Easy isn't always better.

The world seemed carefree....but I was just blinded to reality because I didn't have to deal with it yet. Just because I couldn't see it doesn't mean that it wasn't there. Sure, life is more fast-paced and busy. I don't get naps and all the comforts of life. But there are so many people out there who have no idea what comfort is. Why am I complaining? Rather than having my main project be coloring, instead I get to be creative in learning how to bring color into other people's lives. Sometimes those colors are bright, sometimes I have to use darker hard colors....but that's just the shading that makes the final picture beautiful. Praise God for dark colors in the painting of life! I now have to make my own decisions....but accompanied with this responsibility is the opportunity to talk to God and look to His Word for guidance and then comfort if I have to do hard things for Him. When my heart is heavy, I still get kisses from my mom and dad. More recently, I get visits and hugs from Becky. I get love, hugs and comfort (also comfort food) from the Potters. I get caring words, hugs, and prayers from Tori, Chrissy, Kaylee, and Don. I get beautiful flowers from Elisabeth. I get so so so much love, more than I've ever deserved. AND instead of sticking with Jesus loves me and obey your parents, I get inexpressible joy, unfathomable riches in Christ, boldness to come before the throne of grace, eternal life, and so so so much more!!!!

So kindergarten....was great. But, harder doesn't always mean worse.
God is faithful.
God is sufficient.
I can trust Him in all things.
I am loved.

Thank you Lord Jesus!!!!!


These are the lovely flowers that were waiting in the office for me today. :) Thank you Elisabeth!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Blown away...

I'm still speechless. This semester has been extremely difficult and over the past few days, I've just been overwhelmed. There have been many tears, much seeking of counsel, and a ton of praying. Tonight I'm watching the clock, waiting til it's time to call my daddy and talk to him. But in the meantime, I have a dear friend here who sat down with me this afternoon, and listened as I told him a little bit about what's going on in my life. I was sitting there thinking "don't cry Grace...be tough.." just to look up and see tears rolling down his face. That's the second time this week that someone has shed tears for me. This is the body of Christ at work. This is the true, genuine love that Christ exemplified and desires us to communicate to one another. I'm just so blessed to be the recipient of such love and care.
Thank you God!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

O God of Mine!!

I love Pandora. :)

This song has been coming up a lot lately and has quickly become a favorite of mine. Oh how easy it is to forget that we are joined forever to Christ, to God Almighty. And He is wonderful! That's the understatement of the century. Anyway, here are the lyrics and a video with the song...I'm not as enraptured with the "dance" in the video as much as I am with the song. This has been one of my many blessings this week.

Rita Springer - Oh God Of Mine



Oh God of mine, I’ll have no idols
Oh God of mine, come lead the way
Oh God of mine, I’m greatly humbled
This sinner’s heart You came to save

Oh God of mine through storm and trial
Oh God of mine through death and grave
Oh God of mine in resurrection
Your scars display my soul’s refrain

Oh God of mine Who holds all nations
Oh God of mine Who saves the day
Oh God of mine, Your grace sufficient
And tender mercies new by morn

Oh God of mine, forever faithful
Oh God of mine, forever stay
Oh God of mine, forever after
These eyes upon Your face will gaze

Monday, September 28, 2009

Heaven.

So, it's been 7 years today since Uncle Jeffy went to be with Jesus. I've always known that he is in a much better place and that really, things could not get even remotely better for him. However, today the Lord reminded me of a radically phenomenal truth......one day, I'm gonna be there too. If that's not extremely exciting, I really don't know what is! Are you guys excited too? I mean, come on....HEAVEN! It's so easy to get so wrapped up with the ridiculousness of the present that we totally lose sight of the eternal. As Mike would always remind us, we've gotta live with an eternal perspective. Why focus on this little blip on the timeline of eternity? It'll be gone in a heartbeat and then....God Almighty. Yessss!!! I can't wait!


This is a song that many of you who read this thing probably already know. I wrote it on the flight home from Uncle Jeffy's funeral. As the plane turned across the sky, I got a view of the most spectacular sunrise I've ever seen in my life. I've never seen a red that was so pure and deep....hence the first line of the song....



Heaven (Uncle Jeff's song)

The sun it rises every morning spreading colors across the sky
We see the beauty of an eagle as it spreads its wings to fly
Our God created wondrous things on earth for us to see
If we see things now as beautiful, think how much more will heaven be!

Oh heaven is a wondrous place, so far beyond the sky
Where there's no more pain and no more sorrow, no tear shall dim the eye
The Creator of the universe is reigning there on high
If we see things now as beautiful, think how much more will heaven be

The mountains rise up to the clouds, standing full of majesty
The wind that wanders all around us we can hear but cannot see
Oh our kind and loving Father made these things for us to see
If we find it all amazing, think how much more will heaven be!

Oh heaven is a wondrous place, so far beyond the sky
Where there's no more pain and no more sorrow, no tear shall dim the eye
The Creator of the universe is reigning there on high
If we see things now as beautiful, think how much more will heaven be

It's a place of awe and beauty oh so far beyond my dreams
Where the Father waits in glory with open arms to welcome me
For Christ's salvation covers me, from sin I've been set free
And in my heart I hold a promise that one day heaven I will see!

Oh heaven is a wondrous place, so far beyond the sky
Where there's no more pain and no more sorrow, no tear shall dim the eye
The Creator of the universe is reigning there on high
If we see things now as beautiful, think how much more will heaven be!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Wonder of Wonders.....Miracle of Miracles!!!

For those that either don't believe that it will ever happen or refuse to believe that it HAS happened.....there really is an animal that I, not only tolerate, I truly love him.
Ladies and Gents...meet Pete!

This is a picture of Pete sharing my wonderful surprise birthday party with me!!! I couldn't walk at the time, so he snuggled up on my lap and kept me company.






This pic isn't as flattering...and it's not as good quality because it was taken on my phone...nevertheless it's still sooo sweet. :) Since I've been sick, Pete spends a large amount of his time up here, either sleeping on my lap, watching me work, or sitting outside the door making sure I stay in bed (well, that's what Joel says he's doing...).
Ah yes, boys and girls, it has happened.
I love Pete.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I am loved. :)

So I've been sick over the past few days. Today has been the worst. Sore throat...sneezing....pulsing head (yes..the entire thing pulses)...stuffy/runny nose....smokers cough...aching body (yes...the entire thing aches).....and to top it all off, I get random urges to sleep and I keep zonking completely out at the most random times. With all of the randomness that I've dealt with this semester, I couldn't afford to miss any more classes, so I made it through them today and then I was just planning on going to my dorm and sleeping all weekend.
Well, Bethany, we call her Mama B., told me to go ahead and come over for a few days and get out of the dorm. So here I sit in a comfy bed, all cozy and warm. She brought my supper up to me on a tray and now I have a nice pot of tea on the table next to me. Mom and Dad, if ever you were in doubt, fear not...I'm in good hands!!
If that isn't enough lovin' being poured upon me, my lovely friend Tori came over here tonight and dropped off some wonderful home-made chicken soup, some bread, juice, fruit popsicles..and all sorts of wonderfulness for me!
Yes, indeed, I am loved. I'm so grateful that God blessed me with these lovely people. :)
Being sick is quite bearable when you're surrounded by wonderful friends.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'm taking a 5 min break from my homework....

....to tell you guys how fantastic the Potter family is. They let me come over whenever I want, if I need to do homework I know I will not be bothered...as a matter of fact, if I get distracted, Bethany will come in and put me back to work. It's like having a home all the way over here in Michigan. They even bought me my very own special Potter house coffee mug! See?
Thank you God for giving me such lovely and loving people to take such good care of me continually! Ah yes, I love the Potters. :)

Joel, Owen, Jack, Bethany, and tiny Kate Lael is bangin around in Bethany's tummy. :)

Back to homework.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Oh. My. COW.

This has been the craziest of all crazy semesters. If you haven't heard from me....fear not. I'm not ignoring you....I just feel the need to help God hold the world together. Stupid me. As if He needs it. Nevertheless....I still do it.
So.......beginning of the semester....if I can think back that far..........
-Eric had to go home. A few of you have asked me about it. He didn't end up raising enough money to come back to school, so he's takin' a semester off and working like crazy. Keep him in your prayers.

-I moved into The Dungeon. It's been a guys dorm for eternity past and I'm the privileged person who can now claim to be it's first female RA. The guys, both current students and past students, are not thrilled about it at all. Oh...fyi...it's in the basement. haha It's one of the biggest dorms. There are 8 of us down there...4 of them being freshmen. It's definitely been a learning process.

-First week of classes one of my legs swelled up really ginormous with a plethora of bites. The other leg was in bad shape too. Long story short, I was in the emergency room for a while....sent back to the hospital a few days later.....had a Dermatologist come see me at the school....was on crutches and in a wheelchair for a few weeks...had the grossest most enormous blister/boil things on my legs....much pain....etc. It was pretty intense. The final verdict was that I was bitten by a venomous bug (probably a spider) of some kind and had an allergic reaction to it as well. I also found out that I'm allergic to the mosquitoes out here...which made a large contribution as well. Fear not, I'm all healed up now. It provided some very extreme and unwanted excitement to kick the semester off! But as always, God showed Himself to be faithful.

-Aside from my trip to the ER, my roomie Callie was deathly ill for a while to the point where we almost had to bring her in as well. Then last week I was back in the ER with my roomie Kati who was having some intense chest pain and difficulty breathing. I've never been to the ER as many times in my entire life as I have been there in the last month. Fun times.

-With all of the drama, sickness, and quality hospital time, I've been a step behind in my studies from day one. THIS is the reason ya'll haven't heard from me. The teachers have been so gracious in working with me and giving me extra time. However I'm becoming a pro at pulling all-nighters. Not particularly healthy....but often necessary.

-I'm learning the joys of getting along with people of all personalities. Loving when it's hard to love. Being patient, truly patient, rather than simply tolerant. I see the faithfulness of God every day and am constantly amazed that He loves me as much as He does. I'm getting my daily dose of Romans, Hebrews, and Corinthians every day. I get slapped around and then embraced by it's truth. Love hurts. :) In everything (and I've only related the tip of the iceberg here) the most wonderful thing that the Lord has taught me is to choose to be joyful in everything. Once I realized that I was missing JOY in my life, my anger, bitterness, and frustration faded away. I can't declare that it's completely gone, but it's easier to rest in God's grace and His provision when I choose to walk through my day rejoicing in all that He gives me and does for me.
What a good God we serve!!


Before I sign off, I'll give you all a quick (very delayed) overview of my lovely birthday. I had been hearing about how fantastic it was going to be for months from Eric, Becky, Kaylee, Bethany....and others. Everyone seemed to know about it but me! haha
It started with Eric coming aaaaall the way down to school and taking me out to the park for a lovely, traditional picnic, complete with the checkered blanket and big picnic basket. He gave me the most fabulous Bible ever (real leather cover with wide-lined margins for notes!), we ate sandwiches that he made, and then he taught me how to play backgammon. I won. :)
Next, I had to go change into nice cloths and he took me to a small, privately owned Italian restaurant. Becky helped him plan my day, so he helped her by taking me out to dinner with the money she sent him. Teamwork at it's finest. ;) It was wonderful.
I figured the day would be over since it was almost 7, but no! He stuck me in my wheelchair and wheeled me downtown to our favorite coffee shop. We made it there 2 minutes before closing, so we got our coffee and sat by the creek that runs through town and drank our coffee and chatted.
He said that Bethany wanted us to stop by her house so they could give me a gift really quick. I REALLY had to go to the bathroom so I got there and bolted through the house, straight into a group of my five best friends at school who yelled SURPRISE! I almost wet my pants. lol It was the nicest gathering in the world. Eric, Kaylee, Callie, Michelle, Steven, and the Potters....aside from my own family, it couldn't have gotten any better. They gave me gifts including a harmonica, playdough, a whiskey flask lol, a bouncy ball, a sock monkey...and more. haha That's true love! Eric made the cake himself, which I though was pretty impressive.
After that he took me back over to the school where we played chinese checkers. The first time we went to coffee together, we played chinese checkers for 2 hours. lol It was fun to remember it.
My favorite part of God's creation is the stars, so to finish off the night we went to a big open soccer field and he set up his dad's telescope that they'd spent the whole week fixing up. Unfortunately, the sky was full of clouds. It was okay though. It's the thought that counts. So we ended up just hanging out and talking.
I almost forgot...when I was hobbling up the stairs to go to dinner with him, when I opened the door, he was standing there all dressed up with a huge bouquet of orange and yellow gerber daisies!!! It was phenomenal. All in all, Eric did a good job. And believe it or not...this is the super condensed version!!!!

Anyway, I'm still alive. I'm learning. I'm blessed. I'm choosing JOY!!!
I love you guys and I promise to be in some sort of contact soon.
I miss ya'll!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Once again....I fell off the face of the planet....

I don't have time to sit and write about everything that's gone on in the last 3 weeks, but let's suffice it to say that it's been one of the most eventful times of my life. Some if it incredibly good, some of it incredibly bad. I know my communication with the outside world has been horrible, but know that I've been thinking of you all and praying for you and I WILL call at some point. Once I get my homework under control, I'll get on here and fill you all in on the update with my leg condition and then give an overview of my extremely fabulous birthday. :) Both of those require time. I love and miss you all back at home!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Oh ME of little faith.....PART 2

My dad and I have been driving to and from work together every day. Well, last week I decided to bring along our radio drama CD's of the Chronicles of Narnia. I love the stories and I find it so interesting and wonderful that C.S. Lewis wove the stories, pictures, and concepts of Scripture into his books. As I'm sure you all know, God is represented in Narnia by the great lion Aslan. We were listening to "The Magician's Nephew" the other day when something really stood out to me. At one point, 2 children are making a great journey for Aslan along with a horse (that speaks...I totally want a talking horse.) When they stop for the night, the children declare that they are hungry and wonder why Aslan didn't give them food. The horse inquires if they asked him for food. The young boy says "I should think that He would know our needs without us having to ask." The horse replies "It is true that he already knows our needs, but I've a sovereign idea that he likes to be asked."
How often do we use the "he already knows our needs" line as a substitution for actually bringing our requests before Him? Of course He already knows, but He still likes to be asked. He still wants us to talk to Him about it. This is definitely something that God is showing me in my life on a daily basis.

So as I've continued to pray that God would provide for my upcoming school semester, I continue to be astonished at His faithfulness. I don't know why that astonishes me...He is God. I guess I'm just a doubter...didn't know it until now. That knowledge is very humbling, as you can probibly imagine.

So after the $100 I received in my last post, that same lovely family gave me another $100 the next sunday. I was completely speechless. I didn't even know how to thank them, but they said that God is blessing them right now and they wanted to share that blessing with me as well. Wow Grace, keep praying!

Then I just received a letter in the mail from a young couple who are very near and dear to my heart and in it was $150. Every time I see God answering my prayer, tears fill my eyes as I see my faithlessness compared to God's unending faithfulness! He continues to provide, even when I doubt.

Then as the cherry on top, I found out today that I got a $2.00 raise. I was at the point where I was certain that God would bring all the money I would need for tuition, and then immediately began to worry about getting enough money to buy my books. I'm so ready to just take care of things myself instead of taking them to God. After almost an entire summer of self reliance and worry, I've seen the amazing blessings that God is just waiting to lavish on us if we would just ask Him. What a good God we serve!!

Thanks for your prayers and support! I love you guys so much!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Oh ME of little faith.....

Today in Sunday School, we were in the book of Genesis where Abraham sends his servant to go find a wife for Isaac. As the servant approached his destination, he prayed that God would give him specific signs in showing him the exact young lady that He wanted Isaac to marry. Instantly, he saw Rebekah. He spoke to her and God answered his prayers precisely down to the smallest detail. Wow! not only did God give a perfect answer, He delivered it instantly!

As we discussed the story, the teacher asked us how often God has answered our prayers right after we prayed. We all looked around, kinda laughed.....not too often, right? I sat there thinking "I'm sure it happens for some people! It's so neat to hear their stories! Not sure it'll ever happen to me..." I'm ashamed at my lack of faith and trust in the God of the universe!!

Before the class started, we went around the group taking prayer requests. I've been realizing over the last few days that even though I've been working hard, I'm probably going to come up short a few hundred dollars on my school tuition this next semester. I've been trying to think of ways to raise more money, work more hours...I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING!!! As kind of an afterthought, I mentioned my financial situation as a prayer request. I know now that my heart still wasn't believing in the provision of God. I went through the motions, but my heart still doubted. Then we had a wonderful class about a loving God who hears and answers prayers...instantly?

About 5 minutes after class, a lovely friend from church came up to me and pressed $100 into my hand. That's 25% of what I've calculated that I'll be in need of. This family that blessed me with this gift has been struggling financially themselves. We've been praying for a while now that God would provide work for them. Yet, they chose to look past that and give freely.

I'm ashamed to think that I doubted God's provision when I wouldn't even take the time to ask Him to provide. But I'm overwhelmed with gratitude to Him and to my lovely friends who have shown me such love and support, even before today. What a good God we serve!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Let me introduce you to my dear friend Steve.


Steve is a student with me at NTBI in Jackson, MI. I am seriously blessed to have him as a friend! He is always an amazing encouragement to me and God has used him in so many ways to be a phenomenal blessing in my life and in the lives of so many other people that I know. I'm writing this post to ask you all to be in prayer for our brother in Christ as he heads of to serve at a camp in Allegan, MI this summer. This is a little bit of the email that he recently sent out describing his ministry and how we can pray for him.
"I will be a cabin leader for the summer over there. The camp part of Chicago Child Evangelism Fellowship and is focused on evangelizing kids (8-14 years old) that come out of low-income, urban type backrounds. This camp is going to stretch me in ways I've never been stretched. I am looking forward to the challeges ahead of me for this summer. I certainly can not do any of this on my own strength. I need to continue to be renewed by His word daily and find strength in Him. I also am in need of your prayers. I ask that you would please pray for me daily as I interact and share the gospel with these children and that I would allow Christs' life to be lived out through me and I would not seek my own desires. "

I know I can count on you guys to take part in Steve's ministry by continually lifting him up in prayer!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wedding Bells are ringing.....

Everyone and their grandma are getting married here at New Tribes Bridal Institute, so I decided to go on a hunt to find them all their perfect dresses. Here's what I came up with....plus a few other wedding-ish things. I rock.

CREAM PUFFS!

DENIM!! YEAH BABY!

FLAMES!
FAIRY!!

THE LONGEST STINKIN' TRAIN IN THE UNIVERSE
PATRIOTIC! GOD BLESS AMERICA.

AND NOW I'D LIKE YOU TO CLICK ON THIS LINK TO THE WEBSITE "ETIQUETTE HELL" FOR A VIEWING OF THEIR UGLIEST BRIDESMAID DRESS CONTEST. IT ROCKED MY WORLD.

http://www.etiquettehell.com/content/eh_misc/misc/dressincinerator.shtml


AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST.......THE MOST......INDESCRIBABLE WEDDING VIDEO EVER.


Monday, May 11, 2009

It's official....I'm in love.


This is my Owen! I think I'm gonna keep him forever. :) The greatest sound in the world is when he sees me down the hall and shouts my name. I just want to eat him up! ....in a good way. haha

Monday, May 4, 2009

So, It's been a while.....

I know I haven't been very good about updating this blog thingy, but as the semester comes to a close, each day gets more and more busy! Seriously, in the last month I've been to Grand Rapids once, Port Huron twice, took a road trip through Indiana and Illinois to Waukesha, Wisconsin, went to Ohio..............and still learning a TON as we continue to study the Word of God! We're tackling our first Pauline Epistle...1 Corinthians! It's truly truly amazing! I love getting spiritually beat to a bloody pulp on a daily basis. Feels great. No really....it does. I know that growth doesn't exist without pain, so I'm welcoming this daily spanking with open arms. As odd as it sounds, it's great to be reminded as often as possible of our great need for Christ, and in this, I'm also reminded of the gifts I receive from Him as well. A growing awareness of my struggle with sin makes me forever grateful for the knowledge that when God looks at me, He only see's the perfection of Jesus Christ. "Because a sinless Savior died my sinful soul is counted free, for God, The Just, is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me!" What a joy it is to rest in Christ!
This concept has been going around in my mind for the last few days and blowing me away...pretty much every 5 minutes. I read this story about the ministry of one of our missionaries Chad Mankins in Papua New Guinea and thought I'd share it with ya'll. It's amazing how God provides wonderfully creative ways to express the joys of Salvation and all that it entails to people from all cultures and languages all over the world!!!



Grandmother Alowe giving testimony using bamboo joints and some dirty sticks.

Missionary Chad Mankins used bamboo and sticks to illustrate the concept of justification to the Tobo people of Papua New Guinea.

Chad is teaching through the book of Romans and since the Tobos do not have a word for justification in their language he demonstrated the meaning with two bamboo joints and some dirty sticks.

"At the end of chapter 3," Chad wrote, "we discussed the fact that our faith in Christ does not mean that we stop sinning and become perfect people in our daily lives on this earth. But it does mean that God says of us, or declares of us, that we are straight and righteous people now. …

"But the righteousness we have is that of our Lord Jesus Christ. When God sees us, He no longer sees our sinfulness, since Christ took care of the penalty for that when He died on the cross. Instead, He sees us as covered with the righteousness of His Son and our Savior."

Bamboo joints are hollow tubes with segments between the hollow spaces at top and bottom. Chad took two joints that were cut open at the top, and the bottoms were left on, so they formed two long cylinders like large cups that a small child could reach their arm into.

One bamboo joint was old, brown and caked with mud while the other was freshly cut and green. Chad had placed several dirty sticks in the dirty tube and pulled one out to show the believers what was inside. Then he took the dirty stick out of the dirty bamboo tube and put it into the clean one.

He asked, "Is the stick clean now?" The believers replied "No, the stick is still dirty."

Chad explained that the dirty sticks represented all people. Then he put some sticks into the clean joint, and left the rest in the dirty one.

As he explained the concept, the believers began to smile as understanding dawned. Christ's death made them clean and God sees their sin through the blood of Christ.

"We still sin even now, " declared one of the believers, "but God still took us out of Satan's joint and put us into Jesus' joint because of what He did for us!"

Pray for Chad as he explains righteousness and justification to the Tobos. Pray also that the Tobo believers will clearly understand their position in Christ.




What a good God we serve! Out of the 6,500 people groups in the world, there are still 2,500 that have never been reached with the Gospel. If only there were enough people willing to take the Word to them! Please please please pray for more laborors for the Harvest! I'm part of a small group of students, under the supervision of the school's President, who meets weekly specifically to pray for the laborors of the Harvest, those at work on the field now, those who are in training, and for more people to be burdened to carry the Gospel of Christ across the world. God is so wonderful! May we never cease to share His love and pray for those who are giving their lives in His service!

2 weeks left and I'm coming home!!! I can't wait to see everyone! Thanks for your calls, texts, emails, and letters! It's always so nice to know that I'm remembered back at home. I love you guys!