Tuesday, December 11, 2012

These are a few of my favourite things...

1. Snowflakes gently falling making everything white
2. Sitting in front of the fireplace being mesmerized by the dancing flames – and sometimes even taking a little nap
3. Soft kleenex when the mucus monster attacks
4. Cutting down Christmas trees the day after Thanksgiving with the whole family
5. Slightly sappy, warm fuzzy, good feeling christmas movies (**Cough**hallmark channel)
6. Hot chocolate with a splash of carmel baileys
7. Zoey (our black lab) who is always happy to see people and has an endless supply of love and playfulness  #lifelessons
8. Hot showers in the morning (probably the only thing that can coax me out of bed on a cold morning)
9. Sitting in our living room to the glow of Christmas lights with all the house lights off
10. The little space heater under my desk that keeps me toasty warm
11. It’s okay to play music about Jesus everywhere!
12. We have affectionately named Brian’s mounted dear head “Fred”.  Fred is always in the Christmas spirit and wears a santa hat year round
13. Candy canes that come in lifesaver flavours
14. Our garage… I love not having to scrape frost or snow off my car before leaving for work
15. Christmas baking. Chocolate Chex Carmel Crunch in particular – that stuff in definitely naughty, not nice
16. Finding a spot where sunshine is pouring in through the window and soaking in the heat on a cold (or not so cold) day
17. Eggnog Chai Latte’s from Starbucks
18. How good the christmas tree smells the first day you set it up
19. Coming home and seeing our outside Christmas lights guiding the way home when it’s dark
20. Finding a good parking spot at the mall when everybody and their uncle seem to be Christmas shopping!
21. Mariah Carey singing “All I want for Christmas is you”...it just gets your happy face on and makes you want to sing along
22. We have 4 nativities set up in our house (I may have crazy glued my fingers trying to fix one the first day I set it up #notaproudmoment)
23. People continually quoting the movie Elf … “you sit on a thrown of lies!!!!!!”
24. All the little surprises you get in the mail; everything from cards and pictures to letters and packages on your doorstep
25. Knowing that all of “this”… people, presents, things is just a SMALL piece of life here on earth.  All of the hurts and joys will turn to eternal praise because a tiny baby come to live among us and die that we might live.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I have been challenged by this book I've recently started reading.  For the past week or two it has focused on being THANKFUL. 2012 has been a real struggle for me; this past summer I cried almost everyday on my way to work for about a month straight.  I couldn't shake the circumstances and feelings I was encountering.  I am not crying on my way to work anymore :) and am feeling more emotionally stable than I have in months.  

Whether I have felt it or not, I KNOW my heavenly Father was been walking by my side this whole time.  I have been able to start my day out being thankful for things I don't really "feel" or "think" I should be thankful for.  As I read this tidbit the other morning, it hit hard and I've been letting it sink in deep:  

"Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity...There is an element of mystery in this transaction: You give me thanks (regardless of your feelings), and I give you Joy (regardless of your circumstances.) Those who obey Me in this are invariably blessed, even though difficulties may remain. Thankfulness opens your heart to My Presence and your mind to My thoughts...enabling you to see from My perspective...removing the sting from adversity."  
--Jesus Calling

I truly believe this statement. I've seen thankfulness slam adversity in to the ground--as unnatural as it may seem.  I known people who have lost everything in a house fire and they were thanking God the next day for His faithfulness to them.  I've seen people loose a family member, and praise God as tears stream down their face for the love and grace they're encountering with Jesus.  These situations bring "the JOY of the Lord is my STRENGTH" to LIFE.

There are so many things I am thankful for these days.  I'm even learning to be thankful for the hard things.  My desire is to let thankfulness continually rule in my heart; to build a foundation of gratitude that circumstance cannot shake.  As the blessings add up each day, may the walls I have build around my heart and eyes fall away to the glorious riches of heaven here on earth.

Friday, October 5, 2012

September Adventures

I'm not passionate about scrap-booking, shopping or Monday night football... for the longest time I honestly didn't think I had any "true hobbies".  Sure I love to curl up with a good book and blast my ipod while I'm driving (not together:).  But it's not like I always have my nose in a book or am a musician by any means.  So I sat back and asked what should be the obvious question: what on earth do I save for?  The answer came down to plane tickets and gas. I came to the conclusion my hobby was finding adventures and traveling when I can.  I truly LOVE to go on adventures. 
Earlier this month Brian and I were able to travel up to my hometown (Smithers, BC)!!!  It was so much fun taking him to see where I grew up. As silly as it may seem, I was able to say "this is where I went to school", "this is where my best friend and I hung out all the time" and "these are the mountains I looked at everyday".  We were able to go on lots of little hikes  and went for some beautiful drives in the area.  My family never had tons of money growing up, we didn't go on vacations to Disneyland or holiday at a lake home.  Besides visiting family, we created our own things to do.  I grew up hiking, swimming in mountain creeks and camping in the woods.  As soon as I graduated high school, my little world of adventure got a lot bigger.  Now I live in Iowa and married a guy who likes adventures almost as much as I do.    
While Brian and I were in Smithers, I felt like I was able to share such a big piece of my heart with him. Seeing a person's home can bring so much understanding to what you know about them.  I think Brian can say he understands me better now and why I have some of the quirks I do (example: why I think corolla's can go 4-wheeling:).  And I can say I learned a lot more about him on this trip too.  It kinda happens when you're confined to small space for hours on end with somebody. Before I got married, I had to know I could travel with my future spouse.  This would be why...Here are a few pictures from our trip.

One day were were able to make a day trip to Alaska with my parents.  Saw some bears and a couple glaciers.  We were blessed with gorgeous weather!

After Smithers, we jumped on over to Southern California for a quick business trip.  Picked up a truck and drove it back to Iowa. 

All in all, the 10 days of traveling to the west coast and back were a blast. 
1 couple // 2 countries // 4 planes and // 4300 miles of driving.  

I think that qualifies as a pretty good adventure:)

Friday, August 24, 2012


On a bad day, have you ever had somebody tell you to smile...because if you start smiling (even when you don't feel like it) eventually the smile will "take over" and you'll actually feel happy.  A number of years ago I was convicted about the way I talked.  I haven't always been the most confident person (I still struggle with confidence).  I used to speak a lot of negative things about myself and didn't even realize it. My pastor pointed it out to me one day and I've worked hard to catch myself from following that old pattern.

When you say negative things about yourself, eventually you start to believe them--even if they only start as a joke or a passing comment.  It's one thing to "think" something and stop yourself before you start dwell on that thought.  Once the words come out of your mouth, you have spoken those words over yourself, have let the devil take a hold of them and reinforced in to yourself verbally.

The last six months I have found myself really having to battle my thoughts and negative speaking again.  I haven't felt this way since I was a junior in college (we're talking quite a few years here right now)!  I've struggled with my confidence, value and self-worth.  It's one thing to "know" it, and it's another to actually "feel'.  I know I've had A LOT of life change in the last year and some big challenges at home, work and relationally.  I also think satan knows how to kick you when you're down. 

Before I moved out to Iowa, my close friend April and I decided to get tattoo's together.  Both look different, but each one had the same meaning.  We had the word BELOVED inked on our backs.  Every morning I wake up and feel like I don't matter, I see this word "beloved" written on me reminding me that I do.  It's my smile when I don't feel like smiling.  I know that one little word will take over and I'll actually start feeling it, believing it and being it every morning when i wake up.   

Monday, January 23, 2012


I feel as thought it is a constant battle to have peace in my life. I honestly believe it is something we are supposed to strive for and by having peace we are able to let go of the little details like control, pride and selfishness that tend to creep their way in. It's like you're swimming along in the ocean - enjoying the sun and the water and a wave comes crashing over you sucking you into a salty spin. Suddenly you're disorientated, survival instincts kick in and the only thing you want is fresh air. How do you keep from getting rattled by the waves? I know there are seasons in life, but I don't believe Jesus intends for us to be on a constant roller coaster either.

The only thing I keep coming back to, is knowing there is stability in the cross. All of my burdens can be laid at the feet of Jesus. There is so much more to life than being stuck in the cycle of restlessness. The sleepless nights - If you've ever seen the movie Ice Age, there's a scene where Sid the Sloth is attempting to get comfortable and sleep on a rock. He flips and flops, trying every position possible to find comfort. Let's be honest, I pretty much looked like Sid last night. You make plans and an unexpected twist falls smack-dab in the middle of them. You try something new and fail or you try something old and it just doesn't pick you up like it used too.

These are the words Jesus says to obtain peace:

Fix your thoughts on what is TRUE, and HONORABLE, and RIGHT, and PURE, and LOVELY, and ADMIRABLE.
Think about things that are EXCELLENT and PRAISE WORTHY.
Keep putting into practice all you LEARNED and RECEIVED from me—everything you HEARD from me and SAW me doing.
THEN the God of PEACE will be with you.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Looking Back and Jumping Forward

Welcome 2012!!! It is a NEW year. I am so excited to see what this coming year brings:)

I always like to take some time to reflect on the past year; it's amazing how much happens and how much you can forget over a few months. Things that were once a huge deal are now lost in the memory bank and we're on to the next big thing. The one word I feel describes 2011 for me would be OVERWHELMING. There were a lot of big things and even more little things that made this year seem so incredibly full.

Spiritually and emotionally it has been extremely challenging but filled with so many moments of blessing. I wrestled with God, asking if Brian was the person I was supposed to marry. Was he the person that would bring out the best in me (and probably the worst at times) as we try to figure out this blessing called life? Could we "do ministry" together? And what would that look like? What does it mean to be a wife?!?! I was so scared of becoming someone who "settled" once they said "I do". Would I become too content, let life become routine and wake spiritually dead? I cried out to God asking for answers. The answers didn't come exactly how I wanted/expected them, but God gave me clarity and assurance. From dating to engagement to being married, I have seen the faith Brian and I have grow so much. We have had some rough patches where Satan wanted nothing better than for us to go down the path of anger, worry and frustration. Lots of tear were cried (pretty much all on my part) but we were able to dig deeper and draw on strength from the Holy Spirit.

Work has been an experience too. Rocky Mountain High was my "biggy" and it was truly amazing to watch unfold. I know with all my heart that the youth events Bob and I plan could not happen without the teams of people who surround and help us. I was pushed to the max, was tired and stressed but know without a doubt that God has called me to a time and place such as this. Despite the pure exhaustion at times, I am using my God given gifts and love what I do. Sometime I wonder, like when I found out I had to reenter a 1,000 rooming assignments the night before registration started. But then I see nights where the building floor shakes because people can't contain their excitement for what Jesus is doing in their lives, friend are crawling over rows of people to stand next to each other and commit their live to Jesus. Moments like that make all the late nights worth it. I was able to walk away from the summer saying " I survived Rocky"!!!! Brian and I were able to go together and both experienced the renewing of the Spirit surrounded by mountains.
Through the highs and the lows of 2011 my cup has been filled and overflows. So now its on to 2012... guess we'll have to wait and see where this years adventures decide to take us!!!!