Just a few wants.

I want Saturday morning pancakes,
And Sunday afternoon naps.
I want sunshine pouring through the open front door,
And moonlight shining through the open windows.
I want Jesus beside us through the joy, the pain, the suffering, and the heartache,
And I want Him beside us through the birth of our children and the passing of our mothers.
I want to look out and see the glorious mountains, 
And I want to look in and see beautiful smiles.
I want barefoot children and unbrushed hair,
And I want messy rooms full of happiness .
I want laughter, music, and dancing late at night,
And good morning kisses as the sun rises.
I want tea, a front porch swing, and my Bible.
I want to look over through the busyness of life and see your comforting smile.


Free Indeed

Today I understood the freedom that comes from fully trusting in God.

I have a fear of horses.  I have since I was a little girl and had a bad experience on one.  So, when I was told that we were going horseback riding while on vacation in Colorado, I was extremely nervous, but I’m also extremely stubborn.  So I wouldn’t let a bad experience hinder me from spending time with my family and.

Today as we pulled up to the ranch, a flood of nerves came over me.  I wanted to turn the car around immediately and go back home.  But somewhere deep down inside of me, there was an unexplainable excitement.  The excitement of overcoming my fears and seeing what could come from that.

So I got out of the car and prayed that God would give me peace and use this experience to bring Him glory.  And sure did He!  We mounted the horses and slowly started on our way.  By the time that we got up to the ridge, I was feeling pretty comfortable and was ready to run.

The guide that was with us was telling us that we wouldn’t have much control once we started running.

Oh great.

But he did try to reassure us by telling us that the horses knew what they were doing so we didn’t have to worry.

Right, so you expect me to put my life in this huge animals hands...or hooves...?  This animal that I just today become comfortable being around?  But I figured what the heck?  Why not?

And then he told us to run.

I have never before felt more free and alive.

We were all bursting with laughter and screams of excitement.

It was a blast!

But we had to fully trust in the horses and their ability to stay on the ridge and not run off the side of the mountain.  We had to trust that the horses wouldn't get too wild and kick us off.  We had to fully trust in something that we didn’t fully understand.  And through that trust, we found an unexplainable freedom and joy.

After we finished our ride, I pulled out my Bible and started reading it.  And sure enough, I cam across John 8:36:

"So if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!"

I've grown up hearing this verse, but it never truly made sense to me until today.  Sure, I understood that through Christ I had freedom from sin.  But I never understood what that freedom meant.  And now I think I do.

It means that whenever you are fearful, you can still have joy.

Whenever you are suffering, you can still have joy.

Whenever you I struggling, you can still have joy.

Pure and unashamed joy.  Because we know that we are free.

It reminds me of a family that we are good friends with.  One of the daughters in the family has cerebral palsy and can't control her body very well.  When I was little, I was always awkward around her, because I thought it was strange the way she would squeal and flail her arms, but now I understand.

She was so full of joy that she couldn't help but scream.  She was so happy that she couldn't help but move.

It was the same way with David in the Old Testament.  He was so joyful that the Ark of God had been returned to his city that he "danced with all of his might."  What an incredible joy he experienced.

This is a joy that can only come from God.  A joy that continues through the pain and fear.  A joy that comes from being free indeed.


Shifting Perspectives.

Married, 2 kids, a house, a job, a dog....

If you had asked me a month ago what I thought my life would look like in 10 years, that would have been my answer.  To me, this was my dream...my perfect life.  But that is where the problem starts. Me, my dream.  It was about me.  It was about how I could have the best possible life.

When our plans don't involve Christ and serving His children, they aren't going to last very long.

It was the perfect plan.  I loved my major.  I loved the jobs that I could attain with my major.  I had a great relationship with an incredible guy.  And it all seemed to be falling into place.  Now there weren't wedding bells in the near future, but I was only 21, I still had time before that needed to happen.

And then God stepped in.

He tends to do that.

So often, I make everything be about me and I forget that I am here only to bring glory to my Savior.  And if I'm not doing that, then whatever I'm doing has no purpose.

He took one look at my plan and said no.

He said, yeah that looks nice.  It looks like you will have a pretty good life.  But I can make it incredible.  I can take your so so plan, and make it the best thing ever.  My plan for you is much more extraordinary.   My plan for you is perfect.

I can't argue with Him.  Well, I can try, but if He's promising something like that, then I'm totally on board.  So, I said okay.  Whatever you have planned God, I'm yours, use me, I'll go.  And then He told me His plan.

Go to India.

For a year or two.

I'm sorry, what?!  You want me to go to a country that I have never step foot in for that long?

But His plan is perfect.

So here I am.  Trading in a beautiful cabin in the clean crisp air of the Rocky Mountains for who-knows-what in dirty India.  What I thought was great is not.  And what I thought was terrible is extraordinary.  Through Christ, perspectives have changed.

It reminds me of the story of Saul and his conversion.  Saul was convinced that what he was doing was great.  He thought that murdering Christians was the perfect plan.  However, God shifted his thinking.  God not only changed Saul's name, but He changed his entire life.  I'm sure that Saul had a great plan.  I'm sure he looked at his life and said, if I do this then everyone will know who I am.  I will be rich and famous.  And then God stepped in and said I don't think so.  What you think is great, is terrible.  What you think is terrible, is extraordinary.  And then God used Paul in ways that no one thought possible.

I've noticed that God tends to do that.  That when you say "use me," He will, in amazing ways.  I think that so often we tend to underestimate the power of God and the Holy Spirit.  We tend to think that He can do some things, but not all things.  We forget that He can move mountains, because we've never seen it.  We forget that He can make people speak different languages, because we've never heard it.  We make up excuses, saying that things that happen in our lives happen just by chance.  We don't realize the miracles around us.

God is an incredible God.  We need to start seeing that.  We need to ask Him to remove the scales from our eyes.  Saul was blinded on his way to Damascus.  He had to be blind to be able to finally see.  When the scales are removed from our eyes, we will finally be able to see God in everything around us.  We will no longer blindly wander.

We can't ignore His plans or underestimate the ways that He wil use us.  He is God.  And He is more powerful than we could ever image.  So, when He tells me that my plans are to small and His plans are better.  I will listen.  Even if it means spending a year or two in a country that I have never been to.  Even if it means ministering to a people group that I have never met.  Even if it means giving up my dreams.


Feeling Like Home

As most of you know, I am hardly ever in Kansas City because I'm in school in Tennessee.  That being said, when I am home for the summer, I have the hardest time figuring out where to put everything.  It's like shoving two rooms in to one.  I really like to display things.  I find that ordinary things have so much beauty.  For example I have foreign money framed and hanging on my wall.  I find them to be beautiful.  So, I wanted to find spots for things while also displaying them.  Then an idea popped into my head.  My mom had given me these old drawers from a sewing machine that had belonged to me great-grandmother.  She was going to get rid of them, but I kept them because I figured I would be able to find some sort of use for them.  And sure enough I did.  I set the drawer on its side on one of my window sills.  I then placed lipstick, nail polish, a seashell from spring break, and a jar of buttons inside.    Easy enough.  

 I also was able to finally put up my beautiful map that I received for my birthday.  I stained the frame and attached the map.  I am so in love with this!

I also put some succulents on the window sill.  I got these from my best friends wedding.  They are wonderful! 


Repurposed Stool

I found this cute little stool at a yard sale and bought it for $8.  It was looking a little bit rough, but I figured some new fabric could turn that around.  After a trip to Walmart were I found some fabric for $5, it was time to get started.

This was a super easy project.  To start, lay the cushion on top of your new fabric and cut around it.  You want to leave enough fabric so that it will cover the sides as well.  To keep it looking fairly clean, I like to leave enough fabric so that I can fold it over before I staple it so that you don't see the cut edge.  Staple on one side and then staple on the opposite side.  Do that again for the other two sides.  Make sure that the fabric is pulled tight, otherwise you will be left with wrinkles.   

Staple about once ever 2 inches or so, leaving the corners for last.  Pull the corners over.  You may need to trim the material if there is excess.  There is going to be at least one fold on the corner.  Mine had two as you can see from the end pictures.  Just try to make the folds as similar as possible.  Also make sure the fabric is pulled tight.  I like to check after each corner, just to make sure its not pulling awkwardly.  

So there you go!  Super easy DIY.  I might end up painting it some day.  There is paint splatter on the wood and its chipped in spots.  But this will do for now.  Happy Monday! 


dear sister,

I want to start off by saying how beautiful you are.  I know that I might have never even seen your face, but you are beautiful.  I know how difficult that can be to believe, especially in a world that tells you you need to be a size zero, and especially as a high school girl, but you truly are.  You are a beautiful creature made by a beautiful God.  “So God created you in His own image.” You reflect our Lord!  When you look in the mirror, you glimpse Jesus!  When you fully grasp what it means to bear God’s image, you will be struck with the grandeur of your possibilities and potential.  Because of our likeness of God and Christ’s death, you can be whoever you want.  Life is full of endless possibilities!  Not only are you beautiful because you are made in the image of God, but also because of your heart and spirit.  “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.”  You are so compassionate and loving.  Sister, you were created by the hands of God!  You were molded by the very hands that molded the earth!  That alone is beautiful!  I hope when you look in the mirror, you will see that.  I pray that you don’t need a man to recognize how truly beautiful you are. 

I also want you to understand that life doesn’t get easier, but you will start to understand who’s opinion really matters.  High school girls are mean, college girls are mean, girls in general tend to be mean.  But if you look hard enough, you will see that not all girls are.  You will find friendships like that of David and Jonathan or Naomi and Ruth.  And when you find those, never let them slip through your fingers. Sister, know that if your friends do leave you and turn their backs on you, I will always be here for you.  Also know that you will always have a friend in Christ and that is a wonderful thing, because no matter how many times you turn your back on Him, He will never leave you.  In fact, He loves you so much that He was willing to die for you. “Greater love has no one like this, that He lay down His life for His friends.”  I know you know this and you’ve heard it over and over again, but just stop and let it sink in.  He died because He loves you.  Can you imagine dying for someone that has turned their back on you?  What an incredible God we are privileged to serve!  

Sister, on those hard days, please remember how temporary this all is.  “You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”  “Remember how fleeting your life is.”  “Your days are like a fleeting shadow.”  What happens in high school will be forgotten.  What happens in college will be forgotten.  You will forget your 20s, your 30s, your 40s.  Darling, none of the trials of those years will matter, because they are but a passing second compared to eternity.  And then we will spend our days at the feet of Jesus!  “The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we will fly away.”  The trials and troubles you face will soon be gone.  Imagine how amazing and awesome it will be when you see the face of God!  You will be a bride that finally gets to see her groom.  All of the “wedding jitters” will be gone and you will be in the arms of God!  The wedding feast will be incredible and then you will be filled with so much joy that you can’t help but dance!  What a beautiful thing it will be!  “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb.”  “For the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure.”  It will be the biggest and most beautiful wedding ever.  There will not be a dry eye in the house and people will be talking about it for centuries.  Literally.  The amount of joy you will feel on that day will cover all of the pain that you feel right now. 

So, sister, when the world knocks you on your knees, remember that one day, you will be able to kneel before your King.  When the world draws tears from your eyes, remember that soon, the hands that had nails driven through them, will wipe your tears away. When you feel utterly alone, darling remember that the arms that hold the world will soon hold you.  And when you feel ugly, thrown away, and rejected, remember that one day soon, you will be clothed in white walking down the aisle to wed your beloved God. 

All my Love, 
Your Sister


you are more beautiful than you think.

I have always loved Dove's Real Beauty Campaign.  I think that it is an incredible thing that Dove is doing.  They are looking past the makeup and digital editing and showing people what real beauty is and how ever person is beautiful.  Here is another video that they recently made.


Birthday Cake!

This post is really late, but I've been extremely busy with Christmas and engagement sessions.  Anyway, my little sister's birthday was on the 12th and I wanted to make her a cake because we weren't really doing anything else for her birthday.  She is really into the hunger games, so I wanted to do something along those lines.  So I made her a cake and I frosted it and then decorated it with the hunger games symbol.  I think it turned out pretty well and she was really surprised when she saw it.  So, I thought I would let y'all know how I made the Hunger Games symbol.  It was so easy and you could really use any picture.  So first of all, I printed out the symbol.  I then covered it with parchment paper and taped it down onto a cookie sheet.  Next, I put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes so that the sheet was chilled.  

While that was in the freezer, I took a bag of dark chocolate chips and melted them.  Make sure that you stir it often so that you don't burn the chocolate! 

 Next, I spooned the chocolate into a pipping bag.  You can but cheap disposable ones at the grocery store, which is probably a good idea, because it was a mess to clean up. 

After that, I pulled the sheet out of the freezer and started pipping over the picture.  You want to make sure that the chocolate is melted, but not overly runny. You don't want it to spread out everywhere when you start pipping it.  

After you've pipped it onto the picture, put it back into the freezer until you are ready to serve the cake. I kept it in there for a few hours just because I made it in the early afternoon and we didn't eat it until that night.  

When you are ready to place the design on top of the cake, just pull the sheet out of the freezer and use a spatula to remove it from the sheet and place onto the cake.  Because it was on parchment paper, it will come up really easily.  

And Viola!  The candles made it melt a little bit, but that was good because then it was formed a little bit more to the cake.  But its so easy and makes a plain cake really fun!  You could also use white chocolate and put food coloring in it! 


Christmas Packages

I finally bought and wrapped all of my Christmas presents.  When I say that it sounds like a ton, but it was really only four.  And since it was only four, I decided to get a little creative.  I used plain brown wrapping paper and then tore pages out of books and cut them up to use for the name labels.  Super easy, just a little time consuming(I'm not the fastest cutter).  I put the book pages through the printer and printed the letters on them, so that I would have a nice black line around the letters.  And there you have it!


Being Open

I was looking back at my beginning posts and somewhere I lost sight of what this blog was created for. Yes, I love cooking and doing crafts and reviewing restaurants and books, but that's not what this is about.  This is about me being me. So, I wanted to share some things that I have figured out lately.

1. Not all people are made for college.
Now before you freak out and tell me I'm wrong, hear me out.   I think some people are made for high school, some people are made for college, and some people are made for adulthood.  There are kids that thrive in high school.  They're athletic, they're pretty, and they're invited to all of the parties.  Then there are those kids in college that are basically the same.  Those people thrive off of drama.  They love to be constantly doing things.  And they are obsessed with the here and now.  Then there are people that are made for adulthood.  They have never understood why people like drama. They love working, because it makes them feel like they're accomplishing great things.  And they are ready to settle down.  Now, I'm not saying this is exactly true.  I'm not a psychologist or anywhere close to being one.  But this is just how I feel like life is.

2. Sometimes, just sometimes, you need to listen to Taylor Swift to get through your day.

3. You need to be content and you need to move on.
This is a lesson that I have been learning all of my life, and I'm not sure if I'll ever completely get it.  But there are so many times when I see the people that I used to be friends with and get jealous.  I want to be part of their "group."  I want to laugh at their inside jokes.  I want to feel comfortable around them.  I want to watch movies with them.  I want to eat dinner with them.  But, people change.  And when that happens, so does heartbreak.  So, you need to be content with the friends you have.  I learned that this weekend.  I was sick with the flu and so many people checked in on me and brought me soup and gatorade.  Those are my friends now.  Those are the relationships that I need to focus on, not the ones in the past.  Sometimes we have to move on.

4. Introverted doesn't mean less.
I have struggled with this a lot recently.  I am an introvert.  It's who I am.  I can't change it.  So, if we're hanging out, and I want to go to my room and read or sleep or whatever, sorry, but it's who I am.  There isn't anything wrong with me and I'm not missing out on anything.  I'm simply, reenergizing and processing everything that happened throughout the day.  Introverts thrive off of alone time.  We need to be alone at times to be happy.  Now that doens't mean that I want to stay in my room 24/7 and I never want to do anything, it just means that I need SOME time alone.

5. Eat Ice Cream.

6. If you've tried and it's not working, and you've tried something else and that didn't work, then maybe you should stop trying.
Now, I'm not saying this is true for every situation, I'm just saying that sometimes, instead of putting yourself out there over and over again and getting trampled on and leaving in tears, you just need to leave it alone.  You can't fix every problem, mistake, break.  Everything happens for a reason, and if that means you screwed up and it can't be fixed, stop trying to fix it.

So there it is.  The 6 things that I've learned this semester.  Let me tell you, it has been a rough semester. There have been many mountains climbed, literally and figuratively.  And a lot of things realized.  It has definitely been a roller coaster and I'm striving to thank God for the lows as much as the highs.  Love y'all!


That One Kid Whose Name I Forgot.

Here is another original poem by yours truly.  So sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy!

The ink they drew on our arms faded with each day.
They told us it would last forever, but they knew nothing.
We had said forever, but we, too knew nothing.
We thought we could do it,
We knew it would be hard, but we were committed, willing to fight.
Until the fights lasted for days,
Until we grew tired and hungry,
Until, instead of battling together, we battled against one another.
And then with each passing second,
With each look of desperation,
With each sigh,
We grew apart.
We were slowly dividing.
The miles that separated us were nothing compared to the silences.
We blamed everything on that,
We said that the distance that separated us was merely physical, but it was emotional too.
So 2 years ago we gave up and called it quits,
But you called me the other day
To be honest, I hadn’t thought of you for a while
And when your face light up the screen on my phone
It darkened my day
I had forgotten about you
Not accidentally, but through lots and lots of sleepless nights
But you called,
And I remembered
It all flooded back and I hadn’t been prepared
So I sank back into our past
Our history
Whatever it was that we were
And this poem isn't really gonna make much sense,
But neither did what we had
We would talk, hang out, hold hands
Then we wouldn’t speak
You would call, we would drink coffee, longboard, and as if we were truly flying,
They days swept passed us uncounted.
Then you wouldn’t look at me during school
And you wouldn’t ever actually date me
And you wouldn’t make it facebook official
And everyone knows that if you’re not FBO, then it’s not real
Or at least that's how it was in high school.
So I left, I moved away, I forgot
Then you would call again and we would talk and laugh and even cry.
Remember that time you told me you loved me?
I forgot about that too, until you called the other day
You said you loved me and my world fell shattered
You dropped a bomb on my complacent life
And the buildings and routines crumbled
And like that Glen Hansard song,
We were falling slowly
And in a hopeful voice, we had said that we still had time,
But I was a thousand miles away
And you had a girlfriend
And time had run out
What we had in high school, whatever the hell it was,
Wasn’t going to work this time.
So we stopped talking
And those letters that I wrote to you freshman year are scattered along some back road highway in Kentucky
And yeah I know you’re not supposed to litter, but I had to get rid of you somehow
I had to wash your smell off my skin
To erase the words we had spoken
So fine me!
Because this has already cost me everything
Remember those nights when we would lay on deck and look at the stars
It sounds so cliche now,
But those were the nights when nothing else mattered
When the world was just you and me
Remember when we said we would move to Colorado
We would buy a cabin in the woods
I would write books and you would read every last word of them
You’d teach me how to snowboard
And I’d fall, but you’d pick me up like you always did.
And we’d go home and eat chicken noodle soup
And you would hold me until we were no longer frozen
But that's all just a memory of something that should have happened
A frozen dream that will never thaw out
Why in the world did you call me?
The scars had finally healed, but you had to go and reopen them
You took a scalpel to my heart
And I don’t know when I’ll ever stop bleeding.
I read once that we will never forget our first love
And I don’t even know if you can call what we had love
I don’t know if you can technically love someone that you never even dated
But I’m throwing all technicalities out the window.
You were the first
and the only boy that I have ever wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
I wanted to travel the world with you
To be so lost in each other that the maps would never be able to tell us the way home
Because just like that other song,
you would be my home
Because Home is wherever I’m with you
But now your just a memory
A healing wound that sometimes breaks open
One I look at now and believe will never heal.
But eventually, over time, if you ever stop calling me, it will.
And sometimes I’ll look at the scar and remember you, but I’ll feel nothing more.
So as hard as this is for me to say,
And as much as I wanted it to work out
Please, please don’t ever call me again.