joy.

The Call

How many times do we hear people say that they know they are called to do something?

 

“I’m called to move to Africa.”

“I’m called to be a pastor.”

“I’m called to be a psychologist.”

“I feel called to adopt a child.”

 

First of all, I’m not saying that I doubt this. At ALL! Callings are Biblical, and I totally believe that God calls us to do specific things!

But.

I have a problem.

 

I am, without a doubt, called to be doing three specific things right now.

The problem?

 

These things are scattered across the world.

 

First of all, I know that I am called to my job at the Metro. I absolutely love it, and it is SO much more than just making coffee. As a barista, I have the phenomenal opportunity to get to know literally hundreds of people and make an impact on their life daily! I get to show Jesus’ love through not only their drink, but how I interact with them. With my attitude on the job. By being full of joy. By doing random acts of kindness, such as free upgrades or extras, or flat out buying someone’s drink for them. My job is truly my ministry, and I am SO grateful for that! I’m also glad that I have a job where I can be open about my faith and minister freely. When I count my blessings, my job at Metro (including my bosses/coworkers) is very near the top of the list. I feel SO blessed to be in this position, and know that I am called to be serving in this beautiful coffee shop.

Second, I know that I am called to be a teacher. It is something I am passionate about and have a knack for. People constantly tell me that I will be a great teacher, and I have never had anyone respond with surprise when I say that is what my career plan is. It seems I was born to be a teacher, and I know that is part of my life plan at some point. I was recently doubting this, and a dear friend surprised me by really encouraging me to continue on and saying some really nice things in regards to his feelings on why I should be a teacher.

Third, I know that I am called to be loving overseas. India is this summer, and I can’t wait to get there. Yet, I also can’t wait to be back in Kansas ministering in my coffee shop, and I haven’t even left yet. My heart is SO split between serving overseas and serving here in Hutchinson. I know that my teaching career is a future calling. But right now? I don’t know whether I should be in Kansas or overseas. I love both, I am serving God in both places, and I am encouraged by people to pursue both options seriously as being major parts of my future.

 

And I don’t know what the “correct” answer is.

 

I know I am without a doubt called to both.

So now, I’m trying to figure out how to discern which call is more pressing, or how to combine my two callings.

If I could have everything about my job and children living in third world slums at the same time, my life would be much easier. 😀

 

It started out as a feeling,

Which then grew into a hope

Which then grew into a quiet thought

Which then turned into a quiet word

 

And then that word grew louder and louder,

til it became a battle cry.

 

-Regina Spektor, “The Call”

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David Crowder Band!

This post is SUPER late, but I just now plugged my camera in and got some stuff of it, including these photos and videos!

WAYYYY back in December, I got to go to Wichita and see David Crowder Band’s last concert EVER! They still played at Passion, but this was their last tour show before ending their phenomenal music career.

This concert took place during a VERY busy weekend for me, and the day before finals week started…and of course my hardest, most studying needed final was at 8 AM the next morning. I really debated whether going to the concert was  a good idea or not, but finally decided to go.

And boy, am I glad I did! It probably wasn’t the best use of my time, but hey – I ended up passing that final anyway. 😉

It was a PHENOMENAL night of worship WITH David Crowder. I’ve always loved “How He Loves,” but singing it out live with DCB live is just a whole new level of loving it and feeling the power and emotion of that song! Especially when surrounded by thousands of people.

2011 was a good concert year for me. Not for MOST people, as I only went to a couple, but it was more than I’d been to before. 🙂 In addition to DCB, I also got to see Aaron Gillespie, Cloverton, and The City Harmonic back in October – a PHENOMENAL worship night! I love concerts that are just big worship services, not really performances. My dream is to see Hillsong and worship live with them…maybe it will happen this year! 😀

I’m really torn about this year’s Winter Jam. I would LOVE to see Kari Jobe, and Sanctus Real and For King and Country. I don’t, however, want to sit through all the other hours just to hear them. 🙂 There is a Girls Night Live concert coming to Wichita in March that looks great – Mandisa, Laura Story, and Britt Nicole. May look into that one. 🙂

The following are some videos my brother took. They aren’t the BEST quality…but they show a little bit of the wonderfulness of that night! David Crowder is truly a Jesus lover who has brought many people to the foot of the cross with his powerful music! What a legacy.

Since it was Christmas time, we had an old fashioned Bluegrass Christmas carol 🙂

This one is pretty bad quality at some points, but it was SO cool to see! LOVE Carol of the Bells, and this was definitely not a let down!

An oldie but goodie, Oh Praise Him (All This for a King)….

And finally, I Saw the Light. Another one that’s not the best quality, but it was definitely a fun one. 🙂 If you don’t have this song on your Spotify…get it. Always a good pick me up. 🙂

Hope you enjoyed getting a little glimpse of my night with David Crowder! 🙂

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Here ya go.

Jesus, this one’s Yours.

You know MY desire.

But bigger than that, I want my desire to match YOUR desire.

So, if this is what You’ve got for me…You’re going to be the one making it happen.

Cause I’m staying out of the way this time.

(and I really, really hope this is Your desire. If You were wondering. 😉 )

Delight yourselves

in the LORD

and HE will give you

the desires of your heart.

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Learning to be the Light.

It’s 1:07 AM and I should be in bed.

I’ve been fighting some sort of nasty cold, which has turned into a self-diagnosed case of mild pneumonia. (self diagnosed in that I have seven of the nine symptoms listed on webMD.) I simply haven’t made it to the doctor yet…if I wake up early enough to make an appointment tomorrow I will. If not…there’s probably nothing they can do for it anyway, so sleep would be more beneficial. Right? 🙂

Anyways….since I’ve been fighting this nasty kick in the immune system, I’ve been super wiped out so I should have been in bed hours ago. Instead, I’m up with a heavy heart.

A heavy heart for the world.

It’s plane ticket week – we have an appointment to buy our plane tickets on Friday! Which means that the reality of this trip is becoming huge…soon I will have two grand invested, which means there’s NO backing out!

This also means that it’s been hard to NOT have India on my mind these past few days.

And with these faces that have been on my mind has also been the reality of the world these faces live in. A world of darkness. An impoverished lifestyle full of hunger, disease, and need. All the things we hear about and see on the tv commercials – it’s real life for millions of people living on the very same earth as us!

Millions of people don’t have clean water. Millions don’t have a refrigerator AND pantry full of whatever food they could want. Millions didn’t know how they would feed their family dinner tonight. Millions ate trash today. Millions will sleep on the street tonight. Millions live in literal trash heaps. Millions have never been given anything clean, let alone anything new. Millions will never be given presents or cake on their birthday. Millions can’t go to the doctor when they have a fever. Millions will never brush their teeth.

This is the reality of millions of lives, and it’s going on just across some water from us!

I wish, truly wish, that I could keep this from happening. I wish that every child grew up with parents who loved them, cared for them, and were able to comfortably support them. I wish every child had enough food, access to health care, and a warm bed to sleep in at night after a clean shower and wake up to adequate clean clothes. I wish no parent had to worry how they would feed their family that day. There is SO much that I wish, even more so since I have been in the midst of this world and seen it with my own eyes, touched this lifestyle with my own hands.

Here I sit on my couch, in my heated house, on my laptop (one of four computers in the house right now), looking at a nice television, after driving home from Applebee’s after working a great, steady job in my nice car, to a house in one of the nicer neighborhoods in my town. I’m wearing socks, nice boots, nice jeans, a warm sweater, and had a warm coat to wear in the snow earlier. The Blackberry filling in for my broken Droid is sitting right next to me, and I have my own bathroom with an indoor toilet, clean shower, and toothbrush within eyesight.

I am SO blessed, and I feel bad. Because there is so much more that I could be doing! My parents want to purchase a new vehicle – one that currently runs over $30,000. That absolutely flabbergasts me. I don’t know how one person, even one family, could spend that much money on one vehicle that will last a few years while millions could be fed on that for a lifetime. I don’t know how we in America (myself definitely included!) cannot be content with SO much less for the sake of millions of other people having a chance at survival. For the sake of millions having food tonight. For the sake of millions getting to crawl into a bed. For the sake of millions getting medication to cure a disease. For the sake of millions getting a chance to simply live.

That’s my soap box, but I believe strongly in it. I’m preaching to the choir though, because there is SO much more that I could be doing. SO much stuff that I could, should, be content without. And I need to evaluate my life and see what I can do to make that happen.

“Oh God I just want to love on everyone
All I have is Yours to give so let the people come

It’s so much brighter living in Your world
Savior what You did for me
You gave me something I want everyone to see
When we struggle and it all goes wrong
Only You can make it right
So I say
Oh oh oh oh oh
I’m learning to be the light
Whoa, whoa
I’m learning to be the light
Whoa, whoa
I’m learning to be the light

Learning to Be The Light – Newworldson

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February Thunderstorms

How many of you have spent way too many hours watching Veggie Tales?

I know I sure have. Mostly through my years of being a big sister and babysitting (I don’t think we had Veggie Tales back in MY day…). If you are an avid VT watcher, I’m sure you’ve seen the classic – Madame Blueberry. Madame BB reminds us in a wonderful (or annoyingly catchy) tune that a “thankful heart is a happy heart.”And tonight that tune has been stuck in my head so I thought I would share some things I am thankful for right now!

 

1) My intense cold that I currently am battling forces me to be thankful for Day/Nyquil, hot tea, and Kleenexes! Wishing that my poor nose could get some relief from the Kleenex rawness…that’s always the worst part!

2) I’m so thankful that I get to go back to INDIA this summer! Have I told you that yet? If not, or if so!, check out my India blog. I’d like to say that it is the reason I never update this one, but it’s really not because I don’t update my India blog enough to blame this on. But! You should follow it anyway! 😀

3) I’m thankful for the fantastic February thunderstorm taking place right now! Though I wasn’t very thankful for it during my drive home tonight, it’s a blessing and I’m glad it’s happening!

 

Nyquil is kicking in, so I’m off to dream of India to the sound of the glorious rainstorm! Mostly I just wanted to plug my India blog, because I just spent time making a pretty great post over on that blogland.

Enjoy the rain, and be thankful!

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Maybe it’s because it’s 1:30 AM….

…but I’ve watched this video at least seven times and am still literally cracking up out loud every time.

 

Here are some of my personal favorites.

“There’s a library a few blocks away that has wi-fi.”

“Okay, cause THIS is a macchiato.”

“PFTTTT.” (laugh out loud EVERY time!)

“That’s gross, must be off.” ….say this more than you would think! And it’s true!

“Ven-t-I?”

“This is just like a new brew method I’ve been tryin’ out.”

“THERE’S NO ‘X’ IN ESPRESSO!”

“That’s a cup of coffee.”

“Actually, I DID know that!” …want to say this SO often!

“There’s a latte DYING on the bar!” ….my FAVORITE. I totally am going to start saying this.

 

You may have to be a barista to get it. But I love this video SO much. I hope it at least brings you a giggle.

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I’m old now.

Okay, I’m not really old. Just sort of. 🙂

This weekend, I turned 20.

Yes, it’s weird. And yes, it does feel a little different.

I had a great birthday weekend, though! I spent my actual birthday sleeping in, working, and then spending the evening at work with my dear Metro family!

I am so, so, so, so, SO blessed to have these guys (and Jim and Myra) in my life! How many people would choose to work and spend their hours off on their birthday at their job? I truly think I have the best job, best bosses, and best coworkers in the world and I am daily grateful for that! We had so much fun that day and these guys took good care of me! There was even a Taco John’s run included post closing. What joy. 🙂

During my shift, my friends Craig and Anthony were in and they made me a birthday present:

I didn’t spend much time at home with my real family on my birthday (oops), but they did get me a microwave. Which is a sign I am getting old. Because that’s what I wanted. It comes in handy in the basement and will be great when I hopefully move into a place of my own within the next few months 🙂

My birthday was on Friday, so Saturday I spent the day with my Sterling College family! My friend Kaitlin also had a birthday earlier in the week, so per tradition we celebrated together with all our friends. My old roommate Kelsey even came back from Nebraska for the weekend! It made my heart so happy to be back with these fantastic women (and Cameron).

First, we did lunch at Carriage Crossing!

These two ladies are two of my best friends. We have been through so much together over the past year and a half, and I truly miss seeing them daily! They say you go to college to find your bridesmaids. And these two definitely make that list. 🙂 Oh, and Cam isn’t too bad of a friend either. 😉

 

After lunch, we went back to Sterling. I was so happy to be back in Parlor!

Of course, we had to go check out Sterling’s new sword in the stone that has been making a buzz throughout the state.

(Yes, that is my dear friend Kelsey wearing footed pajamas….)

After, we had an afternoon/evening of deep girl talk, way too much junk food, and chick flicks!

We attacked Kait’s left over (delicious!) birthday cake…

So blessed to have these ladies in my life!

There was also a late night walk to C-Mart with Kaitlin, Kara, Cameron, and Ethan. It was freezing at midnight in Kansas, so we walked there then called for Brit to come pick us up. 🙂 It wouldn’t have been as bad had we not stopped on the rope swing in front of Campbell for an hour. There are pictures of this too, but I haven’t put them on the computer yet. We had a lot of fun seeing how high we could get each other…I definitely won.

Saturday night was completed with a sleepover with Kelsey and Kaitlin in Kait’s room. We had some late night girl talk between just the three of us. I had to wake up early on Sunday and sneak out to drive back to Hutch for children’s church. But all in all, it was a great weekend with my two “other” families! I am so thankful to have such wonderful people in my life!

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Say So.

I am a firm believer in testifying.

Testifying what God has done in our lives.

Not to brag. But to bring glory to Him and what He is doing in His people!

God has done some big, big, big things in me.

And it’s time for me to say so.

2011 was far from a good year for me.

A relationship that I was just certain would be life-long was finally severed.

My grandpa was in and out of the hospital, and we were finally told that he was in the final stage of his disease.

I began having some weird health problems.

I found out that my roommate and one of my dearest friends would be moving back to Nebraska in the middle of the school year.

Therefore, I made the decision to move off campus and complete school online.

Thus, leaving my friends, leaving the support base, leaving the Godly community I had become part of, and trading it for a lonely life.

Several doors slammed shut in my face as far as missions trips.

And, the last two weeks of my year were spent heartbroken after a hurtful situation.

As the last one is the most recent, this is what I’m going to focus on most right now. I’m not “over” this, as I found out today (the hard way.) But, God is doing some huge things through this situation, and I’m hear to say what they are.

After a serious relationship ended a little over a year ago, I had a very hard time letting go. I was seriously heartbroken by it and couldn’t understand why it wouldn’t work out. I kept hoping that somehow it would.

It didn’t.

I began to slowly pick up the pieces of my life. Slowly begin looking for a direction to go. Slowly began to accept possibilities I hadn’t ever wanted to consider.

What if I’m not getting married right out of college, like I have always planned?

What if I’m going to be single for years?

What if, what if, what if?

I had no idea where to go. No idea if I ever even wanted to try and open myself up to anyone ever again, no idea if I ever wanted to put myself in such a position to get hurt this bad again.

I was finally to the point where I was healing and moving on. It took a while. But God began showing me where my joy needed to come from (Him!) and I was finally becoming content with being single and falling in love with Him before falling for anyone else.

And then.

A really great guy walked into my life. Completely out of the blue, completely unexpected. We hit it off as great friends immediately, spending hours texting, facebook chatting, skyping, talking on the phone, and hanging out when he was able to be in town. Eventually he told me he had feelings for me. We both had some serious baggage coming into this, and I wasn’t ready to let my walls down yet.

Being the great guy that he was, he completely understood that and did not push me at all, telling me to take my time and figure out what is best for me.

As time went on, I eventually decided that I was ready to give this a shot. Ready to open myself up, ready to trust him because he had proven himself trustworthy and was someone I was more than willing to take this risk on.

The very day I planned to tell him that I was ready to go for this, ready to jump in, no more reservations, a girl from his past walked back into the picture and presented her newfound feelings for him. Long story short, by the end of that day (Christmas Eve, believe it or not…) he made the decision to pursue this other girl despite his promises that I was what he wanted and nothing she had to say could change that.

It’s been three weeks and I am still devastated. In fact, today he posted something on Facebook about her and my heart suddenly found itself dropping and I felt sick to my stomach. To be instantly dropped, to be suddenly not good enough, to suddenly have promises I’d been hearing for a couple of weeks broken, to be crushed as SOON as I finally let my walls down…it was NOT a good way to spend Christmas, let me tell you.

I’ve told him that I am happy for him, happy that he is happy and getting the chance to pursue something he has wanted to pursue for a long time. And I am. But….I’m also hurting. Hurting for myself. Hurting for my heart that was broken, hurting for the relationship that proved itself worthy of trying but instead shattered me. My trust was betrayed, whether intentionally or not. And that is something that hurts, even more so when you are learily putting it out there for the first time since a major hurt.

You’re probably wondering how on EARTH this is a testimony to God’s glory. I just said that as of today I was still devastated, so that can’t mean that this is a testimony.

Can it?

Actually, it can. 🙂

This is a testimony in progress. It is not complete. God is working in me currently. And though I don’t see the completed project yet, I see the direction He is taking me.

So. 🙂

At Hastings the other night I discovered a book called “Lady in Waiting” by Jackie Kendall and Debby Jones. This book is about “becoming God’s best while waiting for ‘Mr. Right.” Page one had me hooked. The second paragraph states that this book “is not about finding the right man, but being the right woman.”

Whoa.

What a smack in the face to somehow who has just been crushed by someone she thought could be “Mr. Right.” As I began asking myself, “am I prepared for that? Am I the woman I should be?” this book answered that question for me almost right away.

The answer is NO.

Page two says that “Happy indeed are those people, married or single, who have discovered that happiness is not found in marriage but in a right relationship with God.”

Digging deeply, I discovered that I was consumed with the idea of getting married, having a family, and inevitably being happy. However, this book questioned that idea. I had this idea that I have to be married, have to have someone special in my life in order to be happy.

However, as the book states, “Incompleteness is not the result of being single, but of not being full of Jesus.”

I realized right then and there that I could NOT be involved in any relationship until I became truly satisfied in my relationship with Jesus. I had to complete myself as a daughter of God before I could complement that with the man He has for me. We were not made to complete other people. It’s impossible. We are to be complete in Jesus, and complementing each other is our privilege from that.

I am only a couple of chapters in to this book, but it is challenging my way of life. It is forcing me to look at my attitudes, look at my dreams, look at my actions, and look at my plans and compare them to what God truly wants of me and in my life. And honestly, right now they don’t line up.

 

So, here is my testimony.

God is teaching me how to be COMPLETE. How to dream. How to live my life. How to plan for my future. How to seek Him. How to step back and let Him work His magic in my life without interfering.

To God be the glory!

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All I Want for Christmas…

My Christmas did not go how I planned this year.

In fact, I would have to say it may be the worst Christmas I can remember. (But, in the words of my ever wise, encouraging brother, “Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll have a worse Christmas than this one some other year!” :P)

But are you ready for this? That’s probably just what I needed. I needed to be reminded that Christmas is not about me. I needed to be reminded where my focus should be. I needed to be reminded that there is only one person we can put our hope into that will not lead to disappointment. (Romans 5:5 promises us that!)

I am hoping for four words right now. But I know that I’ve got to stop that. Because the only hope that will not lead to disappointment is hope in Jesus! And my hope in Him right now is that He’s got a plan, He’s already planing how this will bring glory to Him. And I know it will! 🙂 I am so thankful that Jesus was born (which I didn’t do a very good job of celebrating today) to die for ME so that I can have this hope! I can’t believe it, because I sure don’t deserve it.

I may not have gotten what I wanted for Christmas this year. (I got some really nice material things, which I am thankful for, but what I’m talking about is not a material item wrapped under the tree.) But I already got the ONLY thing I need. The BEST gift was born in a stable 2000 years ago and makes me smile every day!

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15)

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My Christmas Playlist

First of all….the whole No Pants Challenge didn’t work out so well. Maybe this summer when it’s warm. 🙂

Second….I’m a terribly inconsistent blogger. I have great intentions, I really do. There just aren’t enough hours in the day anymore. Between school, work, and everything else on my plate, suddenly it’s one am WAY too often.

Third…it’s (almost) officially Christmas season! Today I finally decided it was time to bust out my Christmas playlist for a bit. And I have some wonderful new Christmas songs to share with you.

So, without further adieu, here is a glimpse into my Christmas playlist. Check it out. Love them as much as I do.

Come on Christmas – Matthew West

I LOVE this one. It’s brand new music from Matthew, and I heard an interview with him where he said he wrote this song on the beach this summer. It’s simply impossible to NOT get excited about Christmas after listening to this!

All I Want for Christmas is You – Michael Buble’

You simply can’t go wrong with two things. One – this song. Two – Michael Buble’. Together, this is a wonderful match.

12 Days of Christmas – Relient K

Relient K Christmas music is simply the best. I recommend the whole album. But specifically this one.

“What’s a partridge? What’s a pear tree? Well I don’t know, so please don’t ask me. But I can bet those are terrible gifts to get.”

Sleep Well Little Children/What a Wonderful World – Kristin Chenoweth

First of all…this lady. Gosh. Such talent. I wish I could be her. Anyways, this is pretty precious.

Mary’s Boy Child – TobyMac and Jamie Grace

I LOVE this combo, both on this song and recent K-Love hit “Hold Me.”

Let it Snow – Straight No Chaser

Awesome.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Norah Jones and Willie Nelson

I LOVE this version.

The First Noel – TobyMac and Owl City

I know that this album already made it on here, but I just LOVE this song too. TMac and Owl City’s voices were made to be together. I love this.

This is not my full playlist, but this is a glimpse into a few of of my favorites. Maybe I’ll do a round two another time. 🙂

But seriously. Check them out. I think it will put you into the Christmas spirit, that’s for sure!

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