Friday, May 21, 2010


My mom just gave me some articles that she found while cleaning out her office that she thought I'd find useful.

One magazine was from 1996, which is awesome. The pictures in it are classic.

There was an awesome article in it on prayer that struck a chord with me. In the article, Becka Tirabassi talks about how she went to a conference and the speaker said something that completely spoke to her heart and called her to the plate. He said, "Prayerlessness in the life of a believer is sin." She realized that that calls her and other Christians to decide if they're going to live in sin or not.

Even though all her life she had said "I'm too busy" I'm too tired" "It doesn't do anything" "It takes too much time" "It's boring" and "Prayer is for old people," she decided to challenge herself. She would pray for an hour everyday because it was the least she could do after everything God had done for her.

It was just an awesome article about how God showed up and she learned to cherish that time with Him. She has a my PART, and God's PART. Her part has four sections : Praise, Admit, Request, and Thanks. She prayed in a journal so as to keep track. His part consists of LMNOP (no acronym apparently lol) Listening, Messages (going through sermon notes), New and Old Testaments, and Proverbs. She also has a "to do" section in the binder where she makes notes of what she feels God is calling her to do (write a note to someone, etc.)

I was hugely convicted while reading this 14 year old article, because now more than ever...since I'm working more part-time, I should be able to make this time with God. If I can't do it now, when I'm not holding a full time job, I obviously don't care enough to make prayer a huge part of my life. (Because I somehow never cease to find the time to workout, get on facebook, or watch a TV show.) I'm going to try this method, probably more like 30 or 45 minutes at first, but I think I'm going to love it. I'm going to make a commitment to God, and then set the timer and keep it. (as recommended by the article.)

The Test: I did this last night, and right when I set the timer and set my phone to the side...I got a call from Kevin reminding me that I was supposed to be at his office for a work function I had committed to. I raced off to the event, frustrated as ever. But later last night I got a chance to spend time in the word and writing my prayers out to God. It was so refreshing and so needed. It's been way too long since I made it a huge priority in my life.

I pray that you guys would think about prayer more as "the heartthrob of the believer's life" -Dr. Ole Hallesby

~Future prayer warrior

Monday, May 17, 2010


If you knew that you were hurting people, would you stop

or get up and move?

If you knew that you were living exclusively,

would you invite more to your banquet table?

If you knew that your friends were alone

would you step out of the world of you?

If you asked me these questions, I don't know what my answer would be.

I know it's a harsh world. I know it's hard to love others as you love yourself. I DO NOT profess to be perfect or close.

But if you would have asked me a year ago, would I ever have written this with you in mind?

That answer I know. I would have said no.

But now we question everything. What are your grounds for friendship? Do you have criteria? What was our friendship based on? And questioning those you thought loved you unconditionally hurts.

What is a friend? Someone who hangs out with you for a time because it's convenient and fun? Maybe it goes a big deeper than that. Perhaps people become friends because they have a lot in common and they make each other laugh. Maybe those people feel like they can be themselves, flaws and all, with a friend. Vulnerability. Loyalty.

I would hope that among Christians, it's deeper than all of those things. Christian friendship is a bond of brotherhood or sisterhood that should unite us in our struggle against flesh and blood. It's an eternal partnership. It should be a relationship where we can be flawed and confess to one another. Accountability. Strength. Biblical. Romans 12:15, "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn."

Are there boundary lines for Christian friendship? Yes. There are times in the Bible were Jesus explains that friends can be cut off. We are to confront a Christian brother if he is living in sin. If he doesn't change, we are instructed to bring another Christian friend to confront him with. If he still doesn't respond, bring him in front of the Church. Only after a triple try and a triple refusal of that friend to live out the will of God should we cut our friendship short. It takes a bold Christian friend to confront this intentionally, and I think it's awesome that we have Biblical mandates that are this bold.

Whether you are a Christian or not, siblings are usually great friends because you're united by flesh and blood. You are family. That's why Jesus' friendship to humanity is described as stronger than even this bond. "there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." And for the first time in my life, this verse means something substantial to me. Some of our friends have left us. Our very closest friends live far away. We feel lonely in the friendship sense for the first time in our very social lives. Praise GOD that he is a friend when we need that. He can be a loving father, but he can also be a best friend. I used to say that Jesus was my friend. But I didn't get it, nor do I think I truly meant it. I didn't get it because I thought I didn't need it. Shame on me for not realizing this sooner!!

But oh nellie. =) When your friends in Christ stop including you in their lives because of a difference in theological beliefs, you need Jesus more than ever. It's a freakin lonely world down here without a loving, forgiving community around you. And this is NOT to say that we don't have wonderful friends who have been with us. Thank you to everyone who has surrounded us in prayer and physically in this dark season of our lives. It's just the idea of being forgotten by old friends. Frienships that we thought ran much deeper.

I would love to say that I never have or never will wrongfully abandon or fail my friends or family. I'm writing this to my selfish self too. I would love to say that I will never cease to be there for people when they most need me. But I can't promise that. I'm asking for forgiveness if I have failed you as a friend or sister in Christ. and I'm deeply sorry if I have ever hurt you the way we are hurting right now.

We are all failures and broken and human. Thank God for redemption.

(and we're getting a dog. I heard they're pretty rockin at the whole friendship thing.)

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Being a writer is being persistent and consistent in your blogging efforts, even if you don't even have 2 followers (see: my other blog).

Being a writer is writing because you love it, even when no one ever comments on your blogs.

Being a writer is sometimes hard in "this economy" because instead of writing what you want to, you waste hours online trying to make money writing freelance articles, and reading freelance articles about how to write freelance articles.

Writing is hard sometimes because you feel like your thoughts and work is less valid somehow if it isn't somehow available to the public via: internet.

Writing is cool because you can write how you feel. It just becomes harder when your feelings are a jumbled pile of crazy-ness that is hard to transfer into letters and sentences. (as difficult as untangling a tiny necklace chain that has been knotted up --> Can be EXTREMELY tedious and frustrating at times.)

Writing is...what I love. And I'm excited to write to change the world. I bet if you're over the age of 25, you're thinking, "aww, that's cute. She wants to change the world. Good luck with that." But you'll's all about luck, talent, and persistence. If you have 2 out of those 3, you WILL make it. And Persistence I have control over.

Good night friends. I hope you are living with the purpose of accomplishing all of your dreams and hopes. EVEN and especially when people don't think you can.

And if you aren't, I sure hope you love the life you've fallen into anyway. We only live once. We might as well be doing what we love.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Million Dollar Mouth

This grill was the most expensive one I could find, and it listed for 10,000 dollars.

Let me tell you something that totally disgusts me. My mouth is worth more than that!!! And I am and have always been a brush-and-floss-and-rinse-a-haulic. (not kidding!)

I like to say, it all started when I was the second born child. I heard a mother's nutrients are depleted so the subsequent children's bones and teeth may not be as strong. Or it could be hereditary; my dad's mouth is worth robbing too.

Thank GOD they use white fillings and crowns now. I had my first filling probably around age 6. I had silver fillings back then, which were cool for about a day. I continued to have cavities filled as I grew out of my baby teeth and into my adult teeth. It was no better a situation. I have probably had 15+ (at least 1800 dollars worth) fillings in my lifetime. Do we even have that many molars?!

We started to think that my dentist was making them up because I was the only one in my family getting these outrageously unclean bills of dental health. So, we switched dentists and my mouth was surprisingly uneventful for a few years. :D

Then, I went to college and decided that I should get braces. I had a couple minor issues (we're talking, one bottom tooth out of line, and a top tooth that stuck out about 2 milimeters in front of its neighbor). BUT, since I was still owned and paid for by my parents, I decided to whine about getting braces. I only had them on for 10 months, and when I got them off (3,000 dollars later), of course more cavities had developed in the areas that are virtually impossible to brush with braces.

Since that point in college, I have had another 7 fillings and a root canal. Sadly, in just 8 days I'll be getting my second root canal/crown (1600 dollars). What a sad joke, that fails to make me laugh. This American life is EXPENSIVE!! Can I get an amen?

Thank goodness for dental insurance, and parents who taught me to brush, floss and rinse.

At least I still have all of my teeth, and thanks to cosmetic dentistry, you probably couldn't even tell by looking in my mouth. (See last picture of me on my last blog...)

Brush your teeth, children. And lay off of the soda and candy. Like me =)

PS. Don't forget to check out my new writer's blog:

Friday, May 7, 2010

Jamaica Pictures and A new blog!

Kevin was a true stud on the trapeze in Jamaica! We have some videos of us doing it too. Pretty flipping exhilarating! --haha no pun intendedWe got up early on our last morning (5:30) and went out to see the sunrise over the ocean. It was beautiful, except for the mosquitos who loved our white-person blood. We wrote each other messages in the sand, and had the whole beach to ourselves.
This tree would have taken like 10 people's arms stretched out to hug it completely. It was sweet. The golf course was a little dry, but Jamaica is still a cool (well hot, but neat) place to make my debut on the golf course. =)
I got a Par 3!! Then I got really tired and bored, and the $25 cart sounded really good right around the 5th hole.
We had fun photo shoots in our room, as usual. I selected this one because we actually have a little tan, and you can't see our wet swimming suits in the background, and we're just goofy like this. (Speaking of swimsuits (plural), props to Tina for letting me borrow 8 swimsuits and look totally stylish/diversify my tan lines the whole time! Girlfriends rock!)

So today concludes my first week of writing full-time! Let me just say: it was a blast. I got to spring-clean our house, blog more than 2 times in a week, read LOTS of chapters in other books, go to the library (and check out 20 books that I cannot forget to return on time), and type type type away on my little laptop!

I also started a blog called "Butt in Chair" to relate to my writing career. This blog will remain as my personal blog. =) the domain name is Every professional writer will tell you that it's one of their biggest challenges, keeping their butt in the chair and actually writing.'s to the future...and lots of hours with my butt spent in a chair!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Credit vs. Debit

So today I went to Wal-greens to get some of our disposable pictures that we took while snorkeling developed. They turned out great (although some of them of us with our masks on were HILARIOUS. Our faces were all smushy. Maybe I'll post one soon.) Anyway, I paid with my debit card, but I always select "Credit." And here's why:

I get REWARDS! I get 4 points to each dollar I spend because I pay 25 dollars a year to be a part of the Chase Rewards program. I'm definitely buying into their scheme to spend more, but I really have accumulated lots of points over the last year or two. (We RARELY redeem them...which is what they probably hope you will continue doing...haha)

Anyway, stores desperately want you to enter your "pin number" because they actually have to pay 1.8% of the transaction amount to the credit card company when you select Credit. That's why they make it very difficult for you to get away from a debit transaction. They have you hit some random button that you don't know about until you ask, then the cashier has to select "credit," etc. This whole scenario that usually happens at least once a day makes me assume that I'm being judged. This is what I assume is going on inside the head of the store clerk when I push or say "credit." :

"This stupid young girl is probably in so much credit card debt that she doesn't know how to stop. She even buys her groceries on credit?/She is buying a pop at the gas station with CREDIT? Get a hold of yourself. Did you know you have to pay those back?!" ...etc etc.

I always want to say, "this is actually going to be taken from my bank account just like a debit transaction would, but I'm trying to get rewards." lol. I care too much what other people think.

Has anyone else ever felt this way? or am I a total weirdo?

PS. I completed one of my bucket list tasks on our Jamaica vacation! Can anyone guess what it was?!? (see posting from a long time ago)

PS2. I'm going to be developing a second blog as more of a way to develop myself as a writer...a more professional blog! Updates to come

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Jamaica 2010

Jamaica 2010

Have you ever had a set of plans that seemed flawless? Maybe you spent months toiling over your plan, studying it and perfecting it only to have something come along that shatters the entire plan. That seems to be what has happened to Kevin and me multiple times in the last three weeks.

From my last posting, you will understand part of our humbling experience.

The second part is related to our vacation. We had been planning what we thought was to be an amazing trip through Europe! We booked the vacation last October, and paid for the whole entire trip in full four months ago. The trip was to London, Paris, Switzerland, the French Riviera, Monaco, Florence, and Rome. Hours were spent at Borders studying books on these places, mapping out our top stops and eats in each city, and getting ridiculously excited. We even spent the day I had to get surgery thinking about how wonderful 'next week' would be as we ventured through the streets of Paris, toured the Coliseum where Paul preached, overlooked the Swiss Alps, and on and on.

The night before we were to fly out of Chicago into London, we got a 1-800 call in the middle of the night. I was pissed that some salesperson was calling at 2am...but in the morning we listened to the message. It was American Airlines letting us know that our flight had been cancelled due to the volcanic ash from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano that had been erupting for days. We found out later that over 100,000 flights had/have been cancelled because of this natural disaster. HOLY SMOKES!!

Once again, we were humbled at our small-ness and God's big-ness. Sometimes I pray, "God, make me small in my life and make yourself BIGGER." And oh man, has God been answering that prayer.

We spent a day toiling over where to go on our 2 weeks off of work. We looked at driving up the coast of California, we thought about Disney World, and we tried to find a cheap flight to Hawaii. We looked at probably as many websites as we had when we were looking for our Honeymoon destination. After literally 5 hours of searching on our own, we decided to call a travel agent. She helped us find a wonderful all-inclusive resort in Jamaica. It turned out to be a great trip with a lot of opportunities to share God's love. It was no Europe, but definitely a great place to enjoy our relationship, spend time with God on the beach, and get some good tan lines.

This last month has just gone to show that we are so much less in-control of our lives than we thought we were. This is a sinful, broken world that we live in, and even though we are Bible-believing Christians, we are not promised a life without struggle or pain. We have a new understanding of Grace, and we have a renewed closeness to the Lord.

He is a God of comfort, and Kevin and I both have never needed the arms of God around us like we do right now. It's a powerful thing, God's love. Phillipians 4 spoke straight to our hearts yesterday at church. "

What a crazy life this is. Praise God for his peace that surpasses our understanding.