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.