Set your mind on things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.


Heart Matters - new song

My heart is still beating,
Though it's broken into pieces.
I thought you were leaving?
Leaving me with this hurt and this pain.

Why did you deceive me?
Desert me in confusion.
The loneliness consumes my very being.

Not all hope is gone;
I will stand watch.
Set my self on the rampart.
Watch to see what He will say to me...

I'm breaking you down over and over again.
When you think it stops you'll still find you in over your head,
But I have My hold on you,
Nothing can snatch you away.

And I'll always hold your heart, so still.

My beating heart has ceased,
In the stillness emptiness is peace.
The canyons of confusion disappear.
My first and only Love steps out,
From the catacombs of my heart once again.

My hope ignites again,
The waiting game is over.
The ramparts of my heart have found a home.

And You're breaking me down over and over again.
When I think it stops I find I'm still in over my head,
But You have Your hold on me,
Nothing can snatch me away.
And You hold my heart, so still.


Singing in the Shower

Yes, I was singing in the shower tonight, might not seem like a big're probably like "so what, I sing in the shower too!" Well after I say that I can't remember the last time I felt like singing in the shower or anytime for that matter. My joy is starting to creep back into my soul :)
And why? Yesterday a burden was lifted. A heavy burden pressing down on me almost everyday from people in my past that hurt me extremely. So I just didn't feel like singing for quite a long time, anytime. I came to a point in my life where I was praying God either show me what I have to do or just give me a peace in my heart about the situation. And He gave me a peace and joy.
I was just sitting outside at O'Grady's Pantry listening to the little waterfalls and gazing up at the glorious mountains basked in sunlight and colors of changing leaves and I knew that I didn't have to live under the burden anymore. He has given me a new song!
I remember when I was caring for my grandparents and I was singing in the kitchen and grandma asked me why I was singing and grandpa interrupted and said "she always has something to sing about" one of the treasured memories in my heart from South Dakota. And now, once again....I do!
Another burden lifted another step to gaining back my joy :) Praise God! Amen! :)


Pour out your heart and cry before Him

My soul, waits silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:5-8

The innermost part of me waits quietly for the Lord, suffering silently. He is my only hope! God only is my stronghold and my foundation. He has ahold of me, I can't be snatched away or moved! God the Sovereign is my fortress and strong tower for me. I hide in Him. I can't be strong alone. Every hope of my being is in Him! Can I trust Him at all times? Yes. I need to cry out to Jesus for saving, He is the only Hope I have! I can't latch onto anything else, because I will be disappointed.


Train - Words

Words they'll try to shake you
Don't let them break you
Or stop your world from turning
When words keep you from feeling good
Use them as firewood and let them burn

Like stones in your pocket people try to wear you down
Someone always wants to take the love you've found
So let's runs with these changes and I want you by my side
And there's not a word I've ever heard that would make me change my mind

Words they'll try to shake you
Don't let them break you
Or stop your world from turning
When words keep you from feeling good
Use them as firewood and let them burn

Underneath every word somebody's heart been broken
With or without words we try to forgive

Hmm, I'd like to think of myself as a strong person. Nothing can easily shake me...but behind my stoic front I really take what people say to me or about me to heart. I care too much about what other people think about me. I let their words shake me and even break me. I let their words stop my world from turning to a point where I just can't wait to get through the day. Other times I put up a front and pretend that it doesn't effect me...then i sin by holding bitter grudges in my heart which in turn get me down as well. Do these people not realize that they hurt me with their words? Are they trying to inflict pain?
Flip that around and I am convicted to watch the words I say. Remember what the bible says about the tongue.
With or without words I try to forgive...that is what I desire. To forgive and move on and forget. The words won't burn away though. They stay in my head and are lodged in my heart. Jesus help me to move on and act accordingly. Give me words that glorify and honor You.



Definition: difficult to analyze, understand, explain.
What is complicated? Life. Relationships. Faith. People. Me. 
Who isn't complicated? God.
He is faithful, unchangeable, constant, loving, trustworthy, Sovereign.


Divine Loveliness

Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.You return man to dust and say, "Return, O children of man! "For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning, in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers. For we are brought to an end by your anger; by your wrath we are dismayed. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh. 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 fly away. Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Return, O LORD! How long? Have pity on your servants! Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil. Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!
Psalm 90


And the winners are...

 Cashmere won Wenatchee Valley Summer Swim League Championships
It was a successful, awesome year! I had a great season and looking forward to next year! :)
               My assistant coaches and me with the first place trophy :)


Why is it so hard to create meaningful friendships and sustain them?

This has definitely been the year of crappy friendships lol. 3 of meaningful friendships in my life have been toasted! Poof! Gone! Vanished! Extinguished! Should I keep going...? Or you get the idea :P
I am not bitter, more hurt than anything ya know? These people had been very special to me...I loved them. We hung out, had great conversations...and then it was like they didn't care anymore, they didn't give a damn. (is that too harsh?) I don't understand how someone can have a great friendship with another person...and...then...just...I don't know...not...
Anyways, it hasn't held me back. I keep seeking out other friendships...building those relationships. Opening myself up to get hurt. Every time you have a conversation with someone you are opening yourself up to get hurt. You trust that other person, you share your thoughts, dreams, you share your heart with them....give them a picture of what a kind of person you are.


Sickkkk :P

Well its 2AM and I'm awake...because I slept all day basically. I woke up early and had a pounding headache, nausea, and a 103 fever. Well I didn't coach or go work at Mary Lous. My fever broke this afternoon and after lots of painkillers, Reliv Energize, plus my shakes, and prayer:) I'm feeling better with a light headache still. I'm about to hit the hay. But anyways, I hate being sick. Last week of swim team! OMG it's gone so fast...Champs are on Saturday!

Cashmere vs. UVST

And we pulled off a win! Since the beginning of the swim team season I had been dreading/excited for this meet. I wanted to win so badly...just because of all the strive we dealt with Elizabeth at the pool last year...then UVST (aka Upper Valley Swim Team) didn't hire me back....and THEN she ended up coaching! I mean seriously! At the beginning of the meet all my swimmers from last year were like "why didn't you coach us?" traitor, why are you at Cashmere?" I probably explained over 20 times that Leavenworth didn't hire me back and Cashmere did. Some of the kids said they missed me. But I'm at Cashmere now and there is no going back! Depending on what happens when I get back from Africa I am definitely going to coach Cashmere again next summer :)
Anyways, we won quality score Cashmere 3.9 and UVST 3.2!!! And we got only 12 disqualifications! I'd say that is pretty good considering we got over 40 the first meet lol.
I was so so so happy when we won, God is good, all the time! All the time, God is good! :)

South Deeekooota in da Fall

Ahhh! I'm excited :) Got a one-way ticket to Minneapolis in October! Gonna spend a few days with my Grandma and aunt and uncle. Then on the 24th go and see Celtic Thunder with my kindred spirit JENNY!!! Woohoo! After I'll go back home with her to South Deeekoooota for a couple weeks and we'll do what best friends do! I'm stoked...yup yup!

heart healing

Can I now say my heart is healed? It is definitely on its way. It began last Saturday, God started working in my heart when I was reading Living The Cross Centered Life and the part I was reading was talking about feelings and how "we let our feeling tell us what's true, instead of letting the truth transform our feelings" and thinking over the pass 2 weeks I have let my feeling over heart hurt govern the way I go about my day, whether eating, not eating, sleeping, not sleeping I was letting the way I felt put me in a numb state where at one point I wasn't even caring about my physical health...then last Sunday Art Azurdia a visiting pastor form a church plant we are helping out in Portland came and gave this message.
(here is some of my notes)
Fix You Eyes Upon Jesus
Hebrews 12:1-3
Would I die for Jesus Christ? I would not die for Christ unless I live daily for Christ...a taking up of the cross daily. He gave 3 words...Listen, Divest, and Focus.
Focus. Focus. Focus...attention on Christ...looking to Jesus. He is the ultimate man of faith. I need to be relentlessly preoccupied with Jesus and nothing else (not other people, like guys :P) Jesus ran His race in perfect perfection against the greatest opposition. It's not about starting, it's about starting to finish the race.

1st Peter 1
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Just for a little while suffer grief in all kinds of trials...but what do we have to look forward to! A beautiful ending! One with our Savior..forever. In light of this knowledge how then can I live each day? Knowing my end! Knowing that there is more to life than just getting hurt and disappointed and hurt over and over. My heart can be healed and full of joy!

This is where the healing begins...

by: Tenth Avenue North

So you thought you had to keep this up
All the work that you do
So we think that you're good
And you can't believe it's not enough
All the walls you built up
Are just glass on the outside

So let 'em fall down
There's freedom waiting in the sound
When you let your walls fall to the ground
We're here now

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

Afraid to let your secrets out
Everything that you hide
Can come crashing through the door now
But too scared to face all your fear
So you hide but you find
That the shame won't disappear

So let it fall down
There's freedom waiting in the sound
When you let your walls fall to the ground
We're here now
We're here now, oh

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

Sparks will fly as grace collides
With the dark inside of us
So please don't fight
This coming light
Let this blood come cover us
His blood can cover us

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark


Summer Update

Well the summer is halfway over! I can't believe how fast it is going! I will be done coaching in 2 weeks...we have had a great season so far. I love all the kids and how much practice time we get to work on stuff. We have won all of our meets so far except for Ephrata, but it was really close, so we might be able to pull off a win at Champs! The last meet is this coming Wednesday against Leavenworth (USVT) and I'm feeling pretty good about it...I think we have a chance to beat them. Championships is on July 31st and then the pool party in on August 1.
Then August 12-15 is International conference for Reliv in St. Louis! Woohoo! I am so excited for this conference. First it'll be my last one until next year because I will miss National conference since I will be in Africa. Second, because I remember how motivated I was coming home from the last one until I hit the wall. Third I need this. Positive healthy people to lift me up and encourage me.
As for Africa, I have finished my application and have one letter of recommendation from my pastor. I have to get one more letter and then I'm meeting with one of our church deacons to talk about ideas for support and fund raising!
My Lost in God plan for the summer is fallen in a rut, but more on that later, I need to sleep...if I can, anyways...peace out.


heart matters

I remember years ago someone told me I should take caution when it comes to love...I did...

Can't put into words the way I feel right now...the way I've been feeling since over 2 weeks ago. I haven't written anything about it. Each day has felt different. The first few days I felt and empty loneliness inside...and I couldn't cry.

Tell them all I know now shout it from the rooftops write it on the skyline...

I haven't really cried much, most of that was done before I realized how I really felt, but didn't want to admit it. 4 days of utter agony deep in my soul until I realized that I needed to grab ahold of what i was denying myself...and I did. But was disappointed...

Tell them I was happy and now my heart is broken all my scars are open tell them what I hoped would be IMPOSSIBLE...

It hurt so much. I'd like to say that I've never been in love...that my relationship with Daniel was based on infatuation and lust. But now...all of a sudden my heart was liking Aaron...and I didn't realize it and when I did it was the most clearest thing in the world to me...I put my heart out there and it got broken, for the first time. But I have yet to experience what it feels like to have someone hold me and have nothing else matter in the world at that moment, right now I don't think that will ever happen for me.

Falling out of love is hard...

And now I cannot settle for something less. It wouldn't be fair to that person or to me. This situation seems hopeless. But I can't give up. It will all get better in time. Yes...the sleepless night will go away...the feeling I have not to live another day...and to just give will go away, in time.

All we had is gone now.


Happy 4th!!!

♫ ♪ ♪ "I thank God for my life, For the stars and stripes, May freedom
forever fly, let it ring. Salute the ones who died, And the ones
that gave their lives, So we don’t have to sacrifice, All the things
we love..." ♪ ♪

like our Chicken Fried


Nothing left to lose

God..."You say you have a plan for me and that you want the best for my life. Told me the world had yet to see what You can do with one that's committed to Your calling. I know of course what I should do...that I can't hold these dreams forever. If I give them now to You...Will You take them away forever? Or can I dream again?"

Why is it when I love, I love so well, so that when the object of my feelings are taken away it just hurts so bad? I try to be so tough, but I'm just not strong enough...I can't do this alone God I need you to hold onto me. I have no more tears left to cry, at the moment lol, I have to let go and move on, letting nothing steal my joy...even though I don't understand...


Lost in God: Living the Cross Centered Life

For the month of June our church is reading together a theology book. The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller is the first option. We already have the second option by C. J. Mahaney Living the Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing. My mom has already read it so I decided I would read that book. Just from reading the introduction I knew that my thinking would be changed. He starts out with something Paul said..."Now I would remind you, brothers, the gospel I preached to you....For I delivered to you of first importance what I also received: Christ died for our sins." He is saying that the one thing that should be the center of our lives daily is the Gospel! The Good News.
Sounds so simple, eh? But then goes on to point out how every day we face temptations to move away from the gospel....that there are three main tendencies that pull us away: 1. Subjectivism, which means basing our relationship with God on our changing feelings and emotions. (yep, I'm guilty of that). 2. Legalism, which means basing our relationship with God on our own performance. (done that too). and 3. Condemnation, which means being more focused on our sin than God's grace. (uh huh guilty again).
as soon as I read that I was gripped by what I may learn from reading this. I pray that the Holy Spirit gives me discernment as I continue reading.
Finishing the first chapter required the use of a tissue. This quote really got me...reminding me of what God has recently in the last 2 years made me even more aware of.
Often my eyes fill with tears at the memories of my foolishness and sin. And in the same instant, my heart will be filled with an unspeakable, holy joy. By the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, I've been forgiven of the countless sins I've committed.
Then he went on to say something I've never really thought about. How today many people run from the past, but he considers regular reminders as precious because he never wants to forget the great mercy shown! Wow! Changing my mindset to that theology in light of the mistakes I've made in the past doesn't make the memories so painful!
I'm anticipating reading the rest of the book, fo sho!
As for the verses we have to memorize...still working on that lol...when one gets older ones memory isn't what it used to be hehe. But my study of the book of Mark is going well, more on that later :)


UP from the depths of despair haha

Yeah we all get those down days...days with no motivation, days of loneliness, days where Satan brings the past driving back into one's head at full force. Not a very good day to start off the week I must say, but having a positive attitude of it can only go up from here is one way to beat the monster of despair and gloom. One of the ways, besides my time with my best friend and Savior, is to focus on others... We have a good Reliv friend visiting from Montana this weekend and he has agreed to do a few special events/meetings while he is in the area! It is great for me to be getting into Reliv mode again :) I realize that if I can help people and build up my business here in the States I will be having a double ministry once I am in Africa!
Africa...yeah I went river rafting on Saturday, it was da bomb, anyways while we were hanging out waiting to embark I was talking to our guide, Megan, and she had shared that she went to Kenya a few years ago. She also said that when she went she had envisioned that she would be living there for the next 20 years...but once she was there it became clear that was not what God wanted. Well, I have thought about spending a substantial amount of time in Africa...the be a change, get Reliv to those kids! Guess will have to see what happens next year. was a day of "I know." I know that all that matters is I do my best to coach for the glory of God whether we win or not. I know that someone making a decision could be a life changing thing and that it will be in God's plan. I know I have to trust Him. I know, I know, I know...but it doesn't change the way I feel. Part of my journey in getting lost in God is turning that knowing into that knowing it will be enough and change the way I feel and my attitude.
I fail, everyday...I mess up! How God can be so patient is beyond my comprehension. I can barely hold my temper when it comes to my 7 year old brother throwing a water balloon at my head when I'm leaving for work, or dumping soy nuts all over the back of my car, or noisily bouncing off the walls when I trying to talk on the phone, or...well you get the idea. But I continually am doing things like that, well not exactly like that, but you understand what I mean. I forever feel like I am falling before the throne of grace and mercy confessing and repenting. I am so mad at myself for failing in sin over and over. But it is a continual battle, every day, every hour, every minute. I will keep on messing up. Isn't it great that Christ died for your every sin before you even committed it! Ah, just blows my mind! Father forgive me for the minutes I waste for my own pleasure and satisfaction. Humble me and teach me how I can glorify You with my every breath.
What will it look like taking one day at a time, one hour at a time, glorifying Christ alone? Hmm, this girl is on the journey to find out, another peice of the puzzle, another step towards the finish and just another day in pursing to be lost in God.


Swim Team

Second day of swim team is over and I feel tired already. But it's a good tired! I love it :) Cashmere swim team is smaller than Leavenworth and has way more practice time! I have so many things in my head that I want to do with this team...the goal is to go undefeated and take Championships this year! I mean, I'm used to it...did it in Leavenworth as an assistant 2 years in a row ;)
The way the practice times are set up sure make my day go fast though it seems. 2 practices in the morning, 8-10AM and then 1 practice at night 8-9:30PM. I love it so much though, have I not said that already lol. It's on my top 10 list.
I so want to beat Leavenworth really badly now, first of all they never even returned my messages on coaching and then they go and hire the evil manager from last year who made our family and friends summer miserable. Do we have a chance to beat them? Yes. Prayer can't hurt though haha. I need to have to right attitude about it...humble and gracious. I feel that I will :) and will be so disappointed it we don't. The most important thing is for me to do my best at coaching these kids and having fun. Tonight I had the older kids practice write down some of there goals for this season...just so I can get an idea of where they want to go. Some are very doable and practical, some will take hard work, and others made me "get better times then the older guys" (a girl wrote that) and that is doable!!! I did it through most of my "career" as a swimmer. tehe ;)
I loved swimming when I was younger (ha, make me sound so old) swim team was something I looked forward to every  summer, and I was good at it. I'm just so happy to still have a part in something I enjoy so much. And as head coach everyone looks up to me and I will try my best not to fail them :)


Lost in God: Action Plan

God you have quite a sense of's funny, I'm sure you laugh at our stupidity and lack of sense. But still love us just the same. I wonder if you throw in those little things that we freak out over, lose sleep over, cry our eyes out over...just for entertainment., just kidding :P It's just a piece of the puzzle you give me and I have to trust You.
Anyways, I have a plan of action to put into practice and live out this summer to start with. I'm kinda borrowing from our church's program "Redeem the Summer" but I've also added a few of my own help me become lost in God...

1. Read the Bible (I plan to study through the book of Mark)
2. Read one good book a month (my church is reading a theology book for June, Biography for July, and Ecclesiology for August...I'll blog about them at the end of the month)
3. Memorize 10 verses (less than one a week! OT: Ex. 33:18-19; Deut. 6:4-7; Ps. 86:11; Isa. 66:2b; Jer. 31:33. NT: Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Cor. 4:6; Phil. 1:27; 1 Pet. 2:9; Matt. 28:18-20).
4. Journal and Discuss my discoveries, questions, and how the Lord convicts, challenges, and encourages me (which I will be using this blog for...the general stuff anyways...and my prayer journal for the deep personal stuff).

So that's what I got so far...and I'm ready to dive in! It's summer! Yay!


So hear me, if you're out there

I like this...all of us music inside that hasn't been played yet. This video makes me think about all the things I wanna say to someone, but am afraid to. Someday I will find someone who will "hear the words unspoken" and "read between the minds." I think honesty and communication it huge in any relationship...but is there such a thing as looking into a person's eyes and knowing they understand you? Truly understand. I still need time, but one day I trust God will bring me the person that will understand the words of my heart. This video stirs me inside. I'm no hopeless romantic...but hearing and watching this plucks on those strings of my heart that I'm trying not to play.


Moving Forward

So much is running through my head right now that I don't even know where to start! My heart feels so full, yet I have a certain peace and calm about me that is so familiar. Tonight is such a clear night that the stars showing off their charm with extra sparkle. I remember when we first moved here to Washington and on beautiful nights like this I would go outside and just look at the stars talking to God. Expressing the joys and groanings of my heart I knew He heard me. I wondered walking in to the house this evening what happened to those times I used to do that? They were so refreshing and restoring to my spirit especially just sitting outside of a house full of people lol. I replaced those starry mountain nights with sunsets on the flat plains Dakota since I had to be in the house at night...but now that I've been home it's had been awhile since those starry night talks with my best friend. I realized that driving home this evening and having to pull over again overcome by emotion (twice in the last month) doesn't seem healthy. But tonight a burden regarding a situation about Reliv weighing on my heart since February has been lifted. I have to keep moving forward! He will be with me! He will give me the words to say! Just keep moving forward Rachel.
Isn't God good? God is good...all the time! Such a simple statement and so easy to forget. Don't know if you have ever experienced hurt and pain so badly in your heart that you could feel physically feel it...I have. I can count them all on one hand so far. Sometimes it lasted longer than other times. Tonight was such a night except it didn't last long, just a moment then I was flooded in healing. And was told to keep moving forward. It was amazing.
In February my wall of belief in Reliv was demolished. It is ironic because at the beginning of that month I was on fire and moving forward! It was awesome :) Then Satan attacked and I fell. So hard that it has taken this long to get back up again unfortunately, but I got up again. I know what I have seen! I know what Reliv can do! But I was letting Satan win and letting him keep trampling me down.
I think that everything coming together for South Africa has been part of building me back  up again. If Reliv could get to Africa I truly believe that it will change that country! If God is gonna use me and this upcoming trip to get Reliv over there then I need to stop sitting in my pain and pity and start moving forward. Yeah those people hurt me, but how many more people am I letting continue to live in pain because of one little bruise I received?
They think I'm all about money and using my friends to get rich than they do not know what I am about at all! They have not seen what I have seen! What Reliv is truly about. I've seen grown men cry because they got the wife or child back. I've seen families who had no hope left get another chance. I've seen prevented suicides, people get out of wheelchairs and the list goes on and on! I don't even want to think about where my family would be now if it wasn't for God bringing Reliv into our lives. Jonathan would not be here and my mom might not be either. No, maybe you can't think ok, that is so wonderful that it worked for don't understand what it felt like to be 15 and the oldest of the family to think that my mom might die and then I would be left to take care of everything. To see my mom in so much pain. Kids shouldn't have to worrying about taking care of their mom.
People don't understand what they have until they lose it. Yeah you feel great and healthy now, but down the road once you lose your quality of life, your health! How much is prevention worth to you? Why wait until you have a problem and then need to take medication, which has horrible side effects then need to take more drugs for those side effects!? That is how it goes! I saw it with my grandpa.
I'm just excited to be a part of this amazing company! To help get this out and nourish the world! People in third world countries are living off of Reliv, it is all they have to survive! They don't complain about the taste, they are just thankful to even get any that day. My heart is truly to help people. It has been such a blessing when someone who I told about Reliv is not living in pain anymore.
And once I get this going I will have a double ministry! That is what I'm most excited about :) I will be helping alot of people here in the US and then use that support over in Africa! :D I think that overwhelming feeling I got tonight was God trying to tell me something and I think the message got through :)
So here I go, moving forward, one day at a time :)


This video is of the kids at Lambano Sanctuary in South Africa where I will be for at least 6 months God-willing starting January 2011.


Think of You

The song in my heart right first I thought he was singing about a girl until I read the whole lyrics and at the end he sings about the Way, Truth, and Life and Your Spirit...and if you notice the "Y" in you in capitalized. He is singing about Jesus.

When I'm lost, you bring me back
When I cry, you make me glad
When I think I have it bad
I think of You

When I don't know where to go
And I feel like I'm alone
When I hang my head down low
I think of You

Each night You wait outside my door
Cause You want to know, I think of You...

When I fall into a snare
And it's all too much to bear
When I think nobody cares
I think of You

When the going's getting tough
And I feel like giving up
When I think I've had enough
I think of You

You've always been and You'll always be
Even to the end, I'll think of You

You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life
And I'll follow You...

When it's time to say goodbye
And a tear wells in my eye
I can hold my head up high
When I think of You

My flesh is weak, but Your Spirit wills
That my heart and mind, will think of You


Find out who your friends are

I don't get it. That's the third time this month. 3 different "friends."  If they are NOT gonna get back to me when they say they will then at least don't even say you will! "I will call you right back"  "I will text you tomorrow with the details"  "I will get back to you later with where we'll meet" and no reply...I'm mean what the hay :P
But whatever, it no big doesn't hurt as much as what I've had to deal with my so-called "friends." Being back-stabbed 2 years ago in SD by the people I thought were my friends, then I thought was the worst, but doesn't compared to this hurt right now.
We've been friends for over 7 years! And then all of a sudden it doesn't mean anything!? I've put up with enough hurt from them. If you have a horse that keeps bucking you off do you keep it!? Or just get rid of it? It can't be trained!

Forgiveness and thoughts

Pastor Josh completed his 4 week series on church discipline yesterday. The last 2 were on forgiveness. Last week I was freed from a thinking that I think lots of Christians fall into. That because we are Christians we are supposed to everyone, all the time. But that isn't true. It is something I was struggling with in 2 situation particularly that have been such a burden upon me. One person told me that praying for the person who wronged me is a start in a process to forgive them, and once I forgive them, then I can keep moving on. Forgive them even if they don't feel sorry or realize that they hurt me for my own psychological health. I thought that sounded reasonable and it seemed like it worked at first, but I was still feeling terrible about myself because I was still unsettled. Then what I heard last Sunday was so freeing  for me. There is no unconditional forgiveness. God doesn't forgive the unrepentant sinner. Having an attitude of forgiveness is unconditional, but granting forgiveness is conditional.
But then came a whole other state of mind. Do I make these people aware that they hurt and are hurting me in the way they are acting? Just ask them if it was there intention to hurt me. Then the ball is in their court. We are supposed to live in peace with all men. But there is a problem...I have confronted these people before and it didn't go hurt  my family alot. So when talking to my mom she didn't think it would be a good idea either. So for the good of my family I can try to not let this get me down. Why is it such a burden on my heart though? Do I feel like I need to be justified because I have been wronged and hurt?


The Farm

From here go east on I-90 until you cross the state line into South Dakota. Take Exit 289 and head north about 12 miles. Turn west and go 1.5 miles then head north again on 365 Avenue. Go a little over 4 miles until you reach 240th Street then turn west onto the driveway. And there you will find where I left part of my heart.
Not to sound sentimental, but I left my heart in South Dakota. No not to some animal, or activity, not even with a boy. I left it with a little over 1,000 acres of land about 14 miles north of Kimball, SD. That farm has been in some of my first memories as a child. It became even more meaningful to me when I lived there for almost a year. Maybe I am sounding sentimental, but I don't care!
I realize that there is so much of my family history in that land and that is why I could see how come Grandpa wanted to stay on the farm for as long as he could. For me, that piece of land became my sanctuary. I can't count how many times I was outside on my own, just me and God. I watched the first rays of light greet the sky in the morning. I lay out in the field gazing at the stars and feeling ever so small. My favorite was the sunsets! The sky became a canvas for God to paint every evening. It was those moments that most spoke to me. Can't describe it, you gotta go there yourself.
Oh how I miss the farm. And how empty it seemed when I was last there after the grandparents, no animals, no things that would show any activity...but it was at sunset that I took one last walk around and nothing had changed, the land was the same, it will always be the same.
Driving around I would see old farm houses deteriorating, crumbling. It hurts my heart to think that that farm will become another abandoned  stead someday...but the land will stay the same...and there will still be a sunsets every evening.
I hear my "dear land calling." For I left my heart in South Dakota.

South Dakota Sunset by Badger Clark

A woman stood at her cottage door
And a traveler passed that way.
He was weary and dusty and tired of it all,
So he stopped, and she asked him to stay.

"Why do you choose this place to live?
This dusty, desolate spot
Where the sun beats down relentlessly
And the wind, when it blows, is so hot?

"The woman spoke, and her voice was low
And her eyes looked far away.
"Have you seen it when it's white with snow
On a crisp, bright winter's day?

Or when the trees are full of buds,
Or autumn leaves are falling?
These things we South Dakotans love,
For we hear our dear land calling."

Then she turned her eyes toward the west
Where a sunset swept the sky.
The traveler looked at the glorious sight
And no longer wondered why.


2 weeks of rain

This is the second week we've had crappy weather :P ...Daniel and I had a hike planned up Ingalls Creek, the trail head isn't far from our house and never hiked it! Yeah, planned it 2 weeks ago then it started raining off and on since then! I haven't seen the sun in forever!...but that is good because the river will fill up and the rapids will be awesome for the white water rafting trip I won in a raffle on Tuesday. A free trip for 8 people, a $500 dollar value!
Yeah on Tuesday Marika and I went to the Hope Project kickoff celebration as Plain, WA adopted Gardnersville, Liberia, as its very own sister city! It was so cool to see this local community make a change 7,000 miles away! I found out that the top 10 poorest countries in the world are in Africa and Liberia is third on the list. Haiti isn't even on that top 10 list, it's just is in our hemisphere! I decided to donate a small amount every month, it's not much, but it's what I can afford at this time. Another thing which was cool is that they weren't pressure for money either, just the way they presented it was beautiful in the way that showed their heart to really help this other country however they could. They support a school over there and may make some trips in the future, but only if there is still a school to go to. I'm so blessed to be a part of this organization :)
I'm going to Seattle for this week and I'm excited! I wasn't going to go unless I cleaned my room so I finished it yesterday! Woohoo!

A good improvement I think! tehe :) Tonight is Beccah's 16th birthday bash! I'm in charge of I gotta go plan! Peace.


I love the way your eyes crinkle at the corners when you smile.

the story


"I used to feel so alone in the city. All those gazillions of people and then me, on the outside. Because how do you meet a new person? I was very stumped by this for many years. And then I realized, you just say, “Hi.” They may ignore you. Or you may marry them. And that possibility is worth that one word."

"Think about all the things you need to trust about someone you are in a relationship with. You need to trust he will be there if you have a bad day; you need to trust he will keep your secrets; you need to trust he will treat you with respect, both during the relationship and after. Those are all big things. If you don’t trust him with the tiny little things–working late on a co-ed group project in the library–how will you trust him with the big things?"

"Maybe I could have loved you better
Maybe you should have loved me more
Maybe our hearts were just next in line
Maybe everything breaks sometime
Everything breaks sometimes."



How is it I can be so completely oblivious. Guess it's true that most times we generally don't see what is right in front of us...or maybe I was intentionally avoiding it because I didn't think there would be anyway it would be true. Do I want it to be true? Argh...


life right now

It's almost my favorite time of year...summer! Hiking. swimming, hanging out, lovely summer evenings...! June 14th swim team starts! :D I got hired as the head coach for Cashmere :O yeah...Leavenworth didn't want me back, but I'll show them...Cashmere will  kick butt!!! haha!! I'm really excited for this season, it will be different then the last 3 years of my coaching experience since I was only asst. coach then and this team is smaller with more practice time so I can make them amazing swimmers ;)
Also, it looks like, God-willing, I will be in South Africa next year!!!! :D I've been in contact with Lambano Sanctuary which is an organization that helps HIV positive orphans. I've found out about them through a friend's friend, but the funny thing is after awhile I remembered that our girls bible study like 5 years ago did a fundraiser for them! God is good :) They have requested if I would be a homework teacher, where I would help the kids with school in the afternoons. In the mornings I would work with the hospice children. I think at first I was hesitant...I procrastinated in answering because I was "praying" about it. Just trying not to get me hopes up...I've had this desire in my heart for soooooo long that the thought of it coming true unsettled me because I didn't wanna hope only disappointed. But you know what? I realized that I can pursue this with all I got and if it isn't the right time or place God will close the here I go. I trust Him! Also another thing I life doesn't start once I get to Africa, it is here right now and I need to use each day for the furthering of His Kingdom. At first I think that I was just waiting to go to Africa to actually start living my life and doing what God wants me to...but He has a work for me here right now. I'm still excited for Africa though!!!!


Follow Me

And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.” John 21:19b.

Jesus had just told Peter that his death would glorify God although it would be a terrible death to die...Peter "willingly stretched out his hands to be bound, as Christ's hands were bound, and glorif[ied] God by his devoted love to Jesus, even by death."

Will I follow Jesus no matters where the road ends? Yes.

Let The Waters Rise
There's a raging sea
Right in front of me
Wants to pull me in
Bring me to my knees
So let the waters rise
If You want them to
I will follow You
I will follow You
I will follow You


In the conclusion of my study of the book of John this year through B.S.F. (Bible Study Fellowship International) I have found that I have really related to Peter especially regarding the last several chapters. Reflecting on how the last half of this study, it is incredible how I would learn a truth almost every week! There would be something I would be dealing with in my personal and spiritual life and it would be addressed in the reading of the gospel of John. God is so amazing! Right now I think of Peter...and how after he denied Christ and Jesus looked at him in love, he went a wept tears of repentance and healing...I did not realize that after Jesus had risen He appeared privately to Peter to "restore and him and reinstate him in fellowship before appearing to the assembled group." It just really touched my heart to see the Lord's deep concern and love for His heartbroken disciple. Just another realization to me that Christ knows I will mess up, but He still loves me :'-) The final chapter of John finds the disciples fishing and Jesus on the shore. As soon as the disciples recognized who it was, Peter reacted immediately and jumped into the water to swim to His Savior...the time I read this, I got a picture in my head of rushing to be with Jesus...hmmm I can't wait! Finally Jesus ask Peter if he loves Him and to feed His sheep. This scene secures Peter as  leader. Peter humbles himself as tells Jesus that He know his heart....the Lord know my heart...He wants a humble and contrite spirit that trembles at God's Word.


Every Woman Must Go Through Her Gethsemane Alone

Awhile ago a friend asked me these questions..."Have you ever had to face something that was hindering you from living? Have you ever had to come face to face with something knowing although it's going to be beyond your own strength to handle, it was the right thin to do? Have you ever had to face your own Calvary, Rachel dear?"
Those questions have been in the back of my mind and I wrestled with them a few weeks ago when I had a break through with myself concerning a few issues I was dealing with in my life...I thought I was I'm not....then I came across this article today. I have to agree that wrestling it out alone gives me so much more direction, but alas, I put it off and continue to out off...I'm letting the devil win when I let it happen. Maybe I'm just reluctant to find out what God will say!? I don't know. He has never failed me before when I have fallen before Him vulnerable and weak...but still I don't what to do it.
The shadow is returning...I thought I had gotten rid of it. I talked to my mom about it how I was feeling....just everything with weddings, marriage, and if I see a couple walking together, a new baby, go to a wedding or bridal shower, hearing another person who got engaged, or someone just got a new boyfriend...even in movies....I just don't/didn't feel happy about it. And I have begun to think that God doesn't have anyone out there for me, that he wants me to be single. and I don't want to have to deal with the kind of challenges that a marriage brings...if I stay out of relationships I won't get hurt, I won't hurt the other person...anyways mom said I was subconciously having the feeling of resentment towards weddings etc because all my friends are getting married etc, I honestly, really don't think it was bothering me, but apparently I was just blocking it and then that created feelings like there isn't anyone God has for me....yeah makes sense...I guess...I just need time...I told my dad that if any guy asks him to go out with me to tell them that I needed time, like the rest of this year, and if they were still interested to come back later...and I don't want him to tell me that either, I just need time, to be ready. But I still have these feeling of resentment, for lack of a better word, towards relationship and marriage. I can't get rid of I need some time alone, not just the usual time I spend alone to try ans escape...I need to be alone with God again and cry out to Him, Only He can heal me, He did last time so why am I so hesitant to go to Him this time...


I'm falling and can't stop...

"I want to swim away but don't know how
Sometimes it feels just like I'm falling in the ocean"
~Blue October

It's pulling me down and I can't make it stop. What is it though...I don't know...I just want it all to stop. Jesus when will You come back? I've never felt more homesick for heaven. There is a feeling deep in the pit of my is unsettling and aimless. It's a shadow. If only I could grasp it, get ahold of it...I could make it stop. I don't feel lonely, this is actually a time I feel close to my Jesus. Is the shadow of God or Satan? Is God trying to tell me something or is Satan trying to get a trap set for me? I can't discern it...


I'm a dinosaur RAWR!

I'm watching the tv show I Love Lucy. I really like that show tehe. It makes me laugh :) It's my Grandmas favorite also. This weekend has been really weird. Not in the way of things that have happened, but in my's spinning, it's confused...something is bugging me and I can't figure it out. I feel like if I sit down and have a good cry it'll make it better, but I can't seem to cry...I've watched the saddest movies I could think of and...nope, not a tear. I think God is trying to get my attention and I don't wanna listen...I don't know but instead of figure it out now I'm just gonna blog....
Well, it was Apple Blossom festival this week and yesterday I took Angela, James, Benjamin, and Jonathan to the parade. I haven't been to it since mom and dad took us to it when we moved yeah it'd been awhile, but it's not the same, they don't throw candy anymore :( the sun was hot and it was really windy...the kids got a little red :S we were sitting on the sidewalk and there were these 3 younger 5 or 6 years old sitting in their little lawn chairs...anyways when a bunch of Hispanics rode by on their horses and the girls were leaning over and were like.."oh that one is a boy" and then the next horse..."that is a boy too" hehe I thought that was kinda comical :P another thing, when the clowns came walking by I overheard this mom commanding her son to go over and shake the clowns hand so she could take a picture...the little kid didn't want to, can't blame him, clowns are scary!!! :O but she insisted so he would take a step towards the clown then look back at his mom demanding him to go, he was so hesitant that the clowns passed and he didn't shake his hand...his mom like flipped out at him and was like "you can't think, just do it!" poor little kid...then I was like wow I don't think that is very good parenting to tell your kids to just go and do it and not think, but what do I know lol. So after the parade I got the kids some snow cones (garsh I sound like a mom ahaha). So after church we went to Olive Garden to celebrate Daniel and Kristen's ad been quite awhile since we were all in one place as a whole family so twas really really nice :)
Well I decided that I'm not a dinosaur. Jenny says I'd make a puny dino and I suppose I'm not that I'm a sunflower for the time being....gnight! I'm gonna go and try to find some sleep...hopefully. Goodnight Lucy!


Jim Morrison quote

People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that's bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they're afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they're wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It's all in how you carry it. That's what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you're letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.


at this time last year....

How quickly a year flies by...hmm. At this time last year, I was in South this time last year, on this day, I took Grandpa to the this time last year, this coming Tuesday, Grandpa went to the nursing this time last year, on Friday, me and Grandma drove grandpa to the doctor, back to the nursing home, then went home....and got the call the he wasn't on this Earth this time last year, this coming weekend and week....I think I felt almost every emotion....sadness, happiness, hurt, anger, joy, played the 'if only' game, and placed blame. Grandpa is in no more pain now. Why do I keep getting sad? Why do I keep wishing I had more time? Why am I blaming myself...if only I would of taken better care of him, just had taken him home with me, so he could of died on the farm instead of in some stuffy, smelly nursing home room...all alone...but God is Sovereign....God is Sovereign....God is Sovereign....and I will keep telling myself this until I don't  hurt anymore.....


If all I had was Jesus

The message on Sunday was Spirit-filled and thought-provoking...How Then Shall We Live 2nd Peter 3:11-13

Thought I would answer some of the questions Josh posed in his sermon. What gives me my identity? Is Christ defining who I am? What does this I identifying who I am in Christ? Jesus says to abide and  remain in Him...and I do this my loving and obeying Him. What one thing in my life is central? Whatever I make sacrifices for and rearrange everything in my life around is what that thing is...I know that I don't do that to spend time with my friend times I think I put myself as central...I'd rather sleep or watch a movie instead of talk to my Savior...I'd rather spend time on myself and my life then read the Word God has given me. This isn't my life though, why do I stoop to satisfying myself with temporary pleasures? OKay so this one really got to me, but I confidently can answer it...Would I be happy in heaven if Jesus wasn't there? It seems absurd to even ask this...but think about it, why would we need Jesus if in Heaven we will be completely more hurting and pain, but uncanny happiness in glorious pleasure with the ones we love! I wouldn't be happy if my Savior, my Redeemer, my Friend, my Everything was not there. That is the one thing I long and look forward to! Spending eternity with Him! Come quickly Lord Jesus!


a sudden burst of inspiration

needs some work I just wrote it on a whim ;) so I'm not done with it yet...

The sea-colored toenails disappear
Among the sun-warmed grass.
Nostrils flare at earth-smelled atmosphere
Eyes capture snow-covered mountains.
Sky-temperature wind fingers through hair
Drying salt-tasted tears on cheeks.
Surrounded by melody-filled air
Knees pulled to the life-crowded ground.


Dream: a strongly desired goal or purpose

What is God impressing on my heart? I can feel grows stronger and stronger. At times I feel like I am running out of time until I slow down to think and remember that His timing and His plan is perfect. I hold in my heart a dream, a beautiful dream only I can imagine, a dream only God can fulfill. Times come where I am down, but I still dream. I don't think I know what that dream is, I feel like it's coming to me now...what is it? It is in the secret part of me...when will it happen? Why does it feel so strongly impressed upon me at this it because the more I talk of it out loud the more I feel I can achieve it...but do I even know what it is?


I don't know

I don't know what to do. In this state of mind I'm stuck. I do know that God is faithful and I need to put my trust in Him. That when I do trust Him, He will give me the desires of my heart, and that the desires of my heart should align with God's agenda. What are the desires of my heart? Dare I dream? Dare I pursue the desires of my heart. My hopes. My dreams and ambitions. Is what I want just an ambition or a calling? How can I know when I feel torn between so many things that I want and that I feel. The spirit is willing but but the flesh is weak, oh how true. Is it wrong to want to do something great instead of just, what I feel, is the average? And is this great thing that I long for just an ambition or destiny? No, it is more then ambition. But how come I can't seem to go towards it? I feel like I should be moving forward to grasping instead of remaining in the same place every day. I want to go out and experience life. What kind of life? The life where I'm not stuck in a day to day schedule. A life where every day is filled with challenges, difficulties, and even danger. Can I have that life here or do I need to go somewhere else? Shouldn't everyday be like that for me in my walk with Christ? Do I make it to easy? Is God teaching me contentment once again...I want to feel the things that are right and moral...if I'm supposed to be content does that mean I'm supposed to settle? Ahhhh this wild passion I have has been contained for so long but recent events have stirred it up again even to a greater burning in my heart. Show me the way to go Heavenly Father. I cry out to You for help. I will do whatever You ask of me, that is and will always be my deepest desire. 


John 17

Jesus' prayer to the Father while He was in the Upper Room. Before his crucifixion. He prayed out loud for the disciples and for future believers, you and me. He prayed for me. I inserted my name into this prayer and reread it, it was so powerful and moves me to tears. Jesus prays for me! Knowing this draws me even more closer to Him. He is my best friend. Read this High Priestly prayer of Jesus using your name, and will no doubt effect you in some way. 

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said:

"Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that _____ may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. I have manifested Your name to _____ who You have given Me out of the world. _____ is Yours, You gave _____ to Me, and _____ has kept Your word. Now _____ has known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to _____ the words which You have given Me; and _____ has received them, and has known surely that I came forth from You; and _____ has believed that You sent Me. I pray for _____. I do not pray for the world but for _____ who You have given Me, for _____ is Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in _____. Now I am no longer in the world, but _____ is in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name _____ who You have given Me, that _____ may be one as We are. While I was with _____ in the world, I kept _____ in Your name. _____ who You gave Me I have kept; and none of _____ is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that _____ may have My joy fulfilled in _____. I have given _____ Your word; and the world has hated _____ because _____ is not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take _____ out of the world, but that You should keep _____ from the evil one. _____ is not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify _____ by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent _____ into the world. And for _____'s sake I sanctify Myself, that _____ also may be sanctified by the truth. I do not pray for _____ alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given _____, that _____ may be one just as We are one: I in _____, and You in Me; that _____ may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved _____ as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that _____ also who You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that _____ may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and _____ has known that You sent Me. And I have declared to _____ Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in _____, and I in _____."


Appreciation: An Expression of Gratitude

224 days. The number of days I spent in South Dakota taking care of grandma and grandpa. 3 times. The number of times I felt appreciated.
This is something I struggled with. I loved being there. Did I love every minute of it? No. Do I regret doing it? No. It is something I will treasure in my heart for the rest of my life...being there for grandpa during the last days of his life. What I struggled with was feeling appreciated. I struggled with this because I felt bad for wanting it. Is it selfish to want to feel wanted and appreciated?
This isn't going to be about grandpa. This is about grandma.
I've talked to a few people who can relate to this. When I was younger I looked up to my grandparents and extended family (aka aunts and uncles) through rose colored glasses. During the time in SD, the glasses came off and I saw my family as people, human beings who aren't perfect. The hardest was Grandma. Mom always told me the Grandma was a hard woman to please. My dad's cousins said when they were younger they were always scared of Aunt LaVernge.
There are 3 times I remember that I felt appreciation from Grandma, now I'm not keeping track and I know that there were other times, but these are the ones that have stuck with me. And on this snowy morning I was just thinking about them. Taking care of Mary Lou there are times when I get flashbacks from caring for grandma and grandpa. Well thats what happened this morning.
The first time was when my aunts had just called grandma and grandpa and told them the news of an assistant living place that they had gotten for them in MN near by my aunt and uncle and that they would be moving there in May. I was in their bedroom making the bed and Grandma came in a told me. Then she said that she was so thankful for me and what I've done for Grandpa. How they never could of stayed on the farm that long through the winter if it wasn't for me. I broke down right there. I had just talked to my mom and told her how I was struggling with grandma and having such a hard time with seeming to please her. It's awesome how God works, eh?
The second time was at the interment. Now it had been a week since grandpa passed away. We had a prayer service one day, the funeral was the next, then the follow day was the interment, then the scattering of grandpa's ashes. By the time we got to the interment I was emotional numb and was determined not to cry at the cemetery. And I was doing a great job of accomplishing this. Towards the end I was standing next to grandma watching the rest of the family throw a handful of dirt into the hole. Grandma suddenly put her arm around me and pulled me closer, very tightly, the emotion was mutual, I felt it. I teared up then. Grandma had never hugged me that tightly.
Then lastly was after Grandma had moved to MN and was all settled in at the assistant living place. I had driven down there for her birthday. My aunt and I had bought cake to bring to celebrate with the other tenants at lunch time. Grandma was sitting at the table and I had come in. I went over to her gave her a hug and said happy birthday. She started crying, then I did too. That moment really told me that she truly did appreciate me. Grandma doesn't really show emotion. She is very held together.
The day Grandpa passed away I was the only one there. I was there when we got the call. I drove her to the nursing home. I was there when we went into the room and she leaned over the bed and heard her deep sobs over her husband of almost 60 years. I won't ever forget that image in my mind. And then that first night without grandpa, when we both stayed up until 2am so we would be tired enough to go to sleep. It was only me and grandma while the rest of the family traveled to the farm for the funeral. It pulled us closer together and I felt like I was there for her. And that she appreciated it.
I love you Grandma.


2AM prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,
You are teaching me so much I long to take it all in and meditate on it for weeks. How is it that my desire is to be closer to You, but can't seem to make time for You? Am I so shallow...can You occupy my deepest emotions, my subconscious thoughts that seem trapped in the filth and dirt of the empty lust and passions of my life? That would be so incredible! My heart if so full just thinking about it! Oh how wonderful that would be! 
There is so much that I want to do, so many wishes and dreams...the thing is that I am scared to write them down, to speak of them aloud, for fear that I will fail, that I can never accomplish those dreams. Are these dreams aligned with Your agenda for my life? Why do I fear to moving forward? Father, You are so faithful to me, You never fail to remind me of Your Sovereignty. I want You to use me for Your work, for Your glory...but I have to much fear. I can't win on my own. Help me to fight this battle and to not give in...I do it everyday! Is my desire strong can I get up and tie my goals deeply, strongly, tightly, to my core values and deepest emotions? At the point I was so fearless a month ago, Satan came in and knocked me down...I'm letting him win, I'm stuck and can't move forward. I don't want him to win. Oh how I long to get back to the fearless passion I had. I really believe in this and know there is so much I can do for You through really help people. But what is stopping me? 
Can I live beyond the past? Will you help me feel like I am worth it? Take all of me. Why did I let Satan win? Why did I give in? How come I let my guard down and throw it all away? You know my heart Lord, oh how You know it. You know where my thinking is regarding starting over. I can't. As of now there is no way I can see anyone seeing me as worth it. I won't do it again. I can't. The irony of it all makes me laugh. Ha! 
But I won't let Satan win! I won't continue living for what was last year. It is passed me now and I resolve to stay as I am, my life is Yours and I am content. And I will be content to be satisfied in You alone and no other person. Now indeed with the clock proceeding into the earliest hours of morning I can now rest in peace. You hear my prayer, You know my heart, and You love me. That is all that matters.



Well, yesterday, March 5, was the one year mark since God told me to go to Africa and I said yes. I still remember it so clearly in my mind, the place, the feeling I was so certain. On that night one year ago I was in South Dakota and I was taking my usually walk at sunset around the farm just talking to God and thoughts going back to the video that I watched about this kid in Africa a few days earlier at a college bible study. It had really gotten to me.
My heart has always longed for mission work overseas since I was 10, but never a specific place. That night it became so clear to me! God wants me in Africa! This is the one thing I am positively certain of! And God-willing I may be there at this time next year. My heart is full, about to burst! It is slowly starting to come together! Even though times may come when it seems uncertain. I will always cling to the day I said yes and go back to March 5, 2009 and remember that night and know with certainty :)


When Parts Become A Whole

The following is written by Rachel Young and Ryan Warnholtz. *Disclaimer* grammer, spelling, punctuation, are not correct, so just bear with us.

When Parts Become A Whole: a tale of valor, trial, and love
In a land beyondth this one there was a fairth maiden who nameth was Lady Rachel. The following begins with letters written between her and Sir Ryan, both faithful followers of the True High King. While Lady Rachel was serving her King she befalls in to the merciless hands of Lord Picklebottom. We find at the beginning or our story her first letter to the brave knight.

Dearest Sir Ryan,
I haveth one lastest journey to maketh. Taketh out the burden of rotted, solied items and throw them into the pit of the stinking stench of death. I fearth that the lions and giants will not let me returnth, for they may capture me and taketh me to Lord Picklebottoms. Who is master over all evil creatures. Thou mayest be my lastest chance to surviveth Sir Ryan.
 Faithful servant of the True High King,
Lady Rachel

Fair Lady Rachel,
Oh dear, this is far worse than even I, the great Sir Ryan could have imagined. I must go fuel up for this journey, to the kitchen! (I've been summoned for eggs and oatmeal).
 Knight of the High King,
Sir Ryan

Dearest Sir Ryan, knight of the True High King,
I haveth beenest captured by Lord Picklebottom's creatures. He hast placed me in the dungeon and charged me with the task of scraping sheet rock off boxes and washing all his sliver and gold. I am keepth under guard by the most terrible beast imaginable. The beast of Utter Despair. I workth night and day with no sleep, or rest, or food. My tears are many. The days seem endless and my heart is failing. This is truly my last farewell. I still clingth to the hopeth that maybeth you may reachth my in time. Alas, it may all beth in vain.
Faithful servant of the True High King,
Lady Rachel

Fair Maiden,
I have returned, with the breakfast of champions! Fear not fair maiden Lady Rachel, for I have mounted my trusty steed and boundeth for the dungeons of the dreaded Lord Picklebottom! I shall not rest until  I reach thee, not eat before I rescue thee! I cometh, with my sword raised high, and shall pierce the hearts of all of the beasts that surroundeth you! Keep hope Lady Rachel, for I am on my way,
Faithful servant of the True High King,
Sir Ryan

Sir Ryan,
My heart has a ray of hope! I will hold strongly to thouest promise that thee will rescue me! Each day still dragth on. Lord Picklebottom has commanded that I be wed to him in a fortnight. I am not distressed for i know that thou will reachest me in time.
Faithful servant of the True High King,
Lady Rachel

Dearest Lady Rachel,
For I am but a breath away, yet you doth not see me... for I ninjaeth amongst these beasts. My trusty steed was not so trusteth, and so I doth taketh an airplane. A magnificent beast that doth soar above the clouds with the greatest of ease! The next time that thou dost hear from me it shall be face to face, for I cometh ever so soon!
Faithful servant of the True High King,
Sir Ryan

*Lots of roaring from hugeeeee beasts! The sound of hearts being pierced, the yells of an injured Knight*

*A hobbling knight enters into your midst!*

Lady Rachel,
For it is I, Sir Ryan. I have cometh to rescue you from this place. But what is this? You have disappeared! Oh no, can it be that I am too late?

Dearest Sir Ryan,
Lord Picklebottm intercepted my last letter so he learned of thou mission to rescue me. He took me awayth to his secret castle and has me locked in the highest tower. My heart the was rejoicing of thou rescuing me is now full of despair. For, alas, Lord Picklebottom has made today the day I weddest him. I write in great haste for his servant soonest come to take me away to my doom. I'm dress in the most beautiful and whitest dress, but the irony of it, I can not bear this. I shall throw myself from the tower before I wed Lord Picklebottom. I fear that there is no way thee can rescue me for only the servants of Lord Picklebottom know of this secret castle. My tears are many and my heart aches for rescue. You must find th True High King and plea with Him to reveal where I am. That is my last request Knight Warnholtz. But you must make haste! Alas! I hear the trod of footsteps in the stairwell!
Servant of the True High King,
Lady Rachel

****In haste, Sir Ryan scours the prison for any hidden clues, secrets that might revealeth this secret location. In Lord Picklebottoms chamber a secret passage is found due to a strange wind that bleweth through the room. Clearly the powers that be wished for this to happen. Sir Ryan crawleth through the passage on his hands and knees until they becometh raw. The pain of the injuries from his victorious battle stinging and the rawness of his knees and hands exuding pain - he began to loseth hope for the fair maiden, Lady Rachel.

However when he thoughteth that all was o'er he saw a light shine through the tunnel, and he saweth that the end was near! He goteth out of the tunnel in the stables of this hidden abode - now to findeth that tower. Ah! There it is, the tower being the biggest he had ever seen! What doth he haveth for options? And then he heard it - the roar of a dragon! With that roar of the dragon, a thought runeth across the mind of Sir Ryan, a thought only knights in desperation would ever consider... but it had to be done, for the fair lady Rachel's life dependeth on it! Full of haste Sir Ryan sprinted to the dragon and after narrowly avoiding death by fire (and losing an eyebrow) he mounted the beast and directed it towards the tower!

Lady Rachel  sent the letter to Sir Ryan in a last act of hope. Alas she heard the approaching footsteps of those who would take her to her doom. She would neverst be weddest to the evil Lord Picklebottom. She threw the bar back from the door that led out to the tower balcony. Stepping carefully onto the railing she paused looking down at the deep water of the moat seeming miles down. If she survived the jump she would still have the crocs to defeat. Breathing deeply she closed her eyes feeling the wind tug at her long hair and play at the white hem of her dress, she was about to step a foot over when the wind change from a peaceful breeze to a raging gust. Opening her eye see sawth Sir Ryan approaching on the back of the dragon of Utter Despair. Just then her captor entered the tower. Her heart gave way as she fell forward. Lord Picklebottom caught her, then called out all his evil servant creatures to finish off Sir Ryan. Flocking around him they pressed in to bring him to his death.

Sir Ryan jumped from the back of the dragon and plunged into the black water of the moat. Lady Rachel awoke just at the moment to see him disappear in the depths. With every onuce of strengh she had left she rung herself from the grasp of her captor and flung herself over the balcony, and submerged beneath the deadly waves of the moat.

After emerging from the cold dark depths of the moat, Sir Ryan heardeth a loud splash behind him. Seeing the alligators on the land nearing the water, Sir Ryan decided to act fast! He doveth into the dark icy depths yet again, in despair that the person in the moat was indeed Lady Rachel, and that she was indeed okay! With a huge breath, Sir Ryan doveth into the depths in search of the fair maiden. Lady Rachel's wedding dress was so white, that it shone even in the darkest of depths, leading Sir Ryan right to her! Lord Picklebottom was an evil man, but without knowing it, he had savethed her life.

Sir Ryan scooped up Lady Rachel and emerged in the presence of burning arrows flying down from the tower! Oh no, they hath archers! Without thinking, Sir Ryan whistled to his new found steed, and the dragon descended with great speed towards Lady Rachel, and Sir Ryan.

Sir Ryan threw Lady Rachel who had not yet revived over the back of his noble steed, then turn to face the dragon, Utter Despair. Taking his sword up in hand with fiery arrows flying past inches of his life. He lunged the sword with all his strengh at the direction of Utter Despair who was diving towards him. The sword found rest in the chest of the huge beast. He plummenth down at such amazing speed Sir Ryan had to jumpth to safetl narrowly being missed by Utter Despair tail. With the beast dead the rest of the evil creatures coward back into the forest and a horrendous screech was heard above Sir Ryan. Lord Picklebottom full of rage swore that he would get his revenge and Lady Rachel would be his. Sir Ryan mounted his noble steed and raced off into the forest holding onto Lady Rachel limp body. They rode at a great pace though the darkest night. A faint glow of torches trailing behind. It was Lord Picklebottom and his army of evil creatures, gaining, gaining. Sir Ryan's noble steed was fainting and Lady Rachel was still unresponsive. Sir Ryan's hope was faltering, but he still press on and on. Deeper through the forest. His heart cried out for help any help.

Galloping faster than ever having to gallop before, Sir Ryans steed stopped suddenly, throwing Sir Ryan and Lady Rachel at the distance of 10 feet. After checking to see if Lady Rachel was okayeth quickly, Sir Ryan went to retrieve his steed. Suddenly the ground crumbled beneath him and he quickly took hold of the end of the cliff he had not seen in the utter darkness of the woods! Hearing screams, footsteps and branches cracking, Sir Ryan pulled himself up. What had just happened? Had this been the reason his trusty steed had stopped so suddenly? If it was, then Lord Picklebottom would possibly plunge to his death if the same thing was to arise! Could this be the only way out for Sir Ryan and Lady Rachel?!

No steed, and Lady Rachel unconcious... was this the end?

Quickly Sir Ryan picked up Lady Rachel and headed into the woods by on foot. It was not the speed of a trusty steed, but he was going to doeth everything within his power to make sure Lady Rachel was to reach safety!

Awakening in and out of conciousness, Lady Rachel was unawareth of the goings on, and the danger her lifeth was in. She suddenly was fully awakened by a constanth jostling and open her eyes to seeth the face of Sir Ryan focused intensly ahead and running at a great pace. Her heart warmed with in her and all the fearth melted away, for she felt safe in the arms of her rescuer. Behind them cameth a great sound of death, for all of Lord Picklebottoms army plummenth down to their doom over the cliff the Sir Ryan's steed had encounterth. Soon the wailngs of the lone Lord Picklebottom were far in the distance and the danger seemth to fade away. Stopping at the top of a mountin range Sir Ryan looked down at Lady Rachel to see she was still unresponsive. He did not know she had awakened beforeth, now she was just asleep from the exhaustion of the last fortnight. Fear grew in his heart. He had saved her from Lord Picklebottom, but had he saved her from her death?

Fainth pink and orange light streaked across the blackth canvas of the night sky. Dawn was coming. Sir Ryan placeth Lady Rachel on a soft patch pf grass and stood up surveying his surroundings. Something seemed familiar. As the sun peaked the first mountian top Sir Ryan recongnizeth that he was in the True King's territory. HOw he had managed to get there he hadth no inkling as to how, but his heart filled with hope once more and he scooped Lady Rachel up and began the acsenth down to the valley where the True King abideth.

Sir Ryan was exhausted, but with one look at the Lady Rachel and one look at where he was, he suddenly felteth like a new man. He was not sure where the new found energy had cometh from but he did not considereth for a moment to pondereth it! He had to rescue the fair Lady! So not a moment longer, Sir Ryan picked up Lady Rachel in his arms and began the trek to the great castle of the True King! It was not that far away, but the path was treacherous, and the mountains steep! Thankfully they had cleared the dark woods, and were safe from the treacherous monsters!

Nearing the peak of the mountain where the True Kings castle layed, Sir Ryan heardeth a louddddd screech from behind he and Lady Rachel! In turning around Sir Ryan to his disbelief saweth Lord Picklebottom riding in with great speed on the back of the biggest dragon he had every layed his eyes on. Quickly Sir Ryan found a safe place for the fair Lady Rachel in a cave, and prepared himself for one last battle. Lord Picklebottom was about to breatheth his last breath, and would no longer wreak havoc on this world!

The dragon Lord Picklebottom rode was the mother of Utter Despair, Fiery Death, and Sir Ryan knew that if he could just get the gold pendant around her neck he would be her new master instead of Lord Picklebottom. This would not be and eay task. For at any moment Fiery Death could blast him into charcoal with on puff. They were bearing down on him and with get hasth Sir Ryan leap into a crevice and squeezeth him self against the jagged rocks. Unseen by the peril that was bearing down on him. At the instant Fiery Death flew by Sir Ryan jumped out a caught hold of the gold chain with the pendant on it. He held on for dear life and tunged with all he was worth at the clasp. it broke free and he fell to the rocky ground.

Lady Rachel awoke in the dark and coldness of the cave all alone. Fearful once again she heard a horrenous roar out the cave entrance. She reached the mouth of the cave in time to see Sir Ryan fall to the ground with the gold pendant. Fiery Death screech to a halt flinging Lord Picklebottom to the edge of a cliff. Lord Picklebottom stood up at the edge and commanded Fiery Death to get him and finish of Sir Ryan. But Fiery Death was no longer his prisioner for when Sir Ryan had take the chain, it had freed her. Before Lord Picklebottom could spit out anouther word of hate he was ashes in the breeze. feiry Death then ascended down and landed where her new master lay unmoving on the rocky terrian.

The True King shielded His eyes against the glint of the sun on the horizon. It had been days since word of Sir Ryan had been heard from. But He knew what was to be for He was, after all, the True King. Then appearing in the distance was a figure of a large dragon. After awhile He could see on the back was Sir Ryan and the fair Lady Rachel.

When they had reached the True King's castle the townspeople were at first terrified, but their fearful hearts and cries soon turn to great noises of celebration, seeing the Knight and the Lady. The two were both in pretty bad shape, but no longer controlled by the fear of the Lord Picklebottom. They were full of joy. They came before the King and He looked at both fondly. He spoke of the great courageious bravery of Sir Ryan, who would have given his life for Lady Rachel...His Daughter! Sir Ryan had no ideath of this and looked greatly surprised. The King chuckled as Lady Rachel kissed Sir Ryan's red cheek. Then he proclaimed thoughout the nation that His daughter was to wed the noble Sir Ryan. And so is was. And they lived... happily ever after, raising a family filled with little Knights and fair ladies. Sir Ryan made sure to teach his little Knights to watch over the fair ladies, and to scare any interested parties away until the age of 18!

And that dost concludeth the tale of the brave Knight Sir Ryan, and his Fair Lady, Lady Rachel.****



Remaining in Christ

"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." John 15:7-11

Abiding with Christ we are given the character of Christ. Trust the promise that by abiding we will bear beautiful fruit. The characteristics of remaining and abiding in Christ are obedience, prayer, glorifying God, assurance of God's love and joy.

I'm only going to touch on a few. First off, We LOVE him we have a supernatural desire to OBEY. With JOY! :) Joy in the midst of difficult situations is the mark of a Christian. And true joy is granted be the Holy Spirit. You know, happiness is self-seeking. So Lord, may I be filled with joy in everything!

Finally (this is so good, I love it!) "When we remain in Christ and His words remain in us, we begin to experience His thoughts and words filling even our subconscious thoughts and deepest emotions." WOW!!! This really made me think and reflect. I desire an even deeper and intimate relationship with Jesus! I would rather have HIM fill my subconscious and deepest emotions instead of the passions and lusts of this world which is what's mostly there now because of my sinful nature.
I posted this story on my blog awhile ago, but learning about this brought it to my mind's the link to that past  post on my blog...this is Mabel's Story...


Everafter Wisdom

Henry: Do you really think there is only one perfect mate?
Leonardo da Vinci: As a matter of fact, I do.
Henry: Well then how can you be certain to find them? And if you do find them, are they really the one for you or do you only think they are? And what happens if the person you're supposed to be with never appears, or, or she does, but you're too distracted to notice?
Leonardo da Vinci: You learn to pay attention.
Henry: Then let's say God puts two people on Earth and they are lucky enough to find one another. But one of them gets hit by lightning. Well then what? Is that it? Or, perchance, you meet someone new and marry all over again. Is that the lady you're supposed to be with or was it the first? And if so, when the two of them were walking side by side were they both the one for you and you just happened to meet the first one first or, was the second one supposed to be first? And is everything just chance or are some things meant to be?
My thoughts:  Do I believe that there is only two people that are right for each other? It seems nice to think that way, for once someone gets married I'm sure they think that they had found the perfect one. But what about deaths....and in this day and age, divorces? Does God really create two people who are perfect for eachother? If so, then what happens if you marry the wrong person?
When I was younger I grew up always thinking that there was only the one perfect guy for me and it was just a matter of time until God brought us together, and until then I was to strive to glorify Christ with my single years until I met my prince charming. Now my thinking has changed. Of the few relationships I've been in only the recent one seemed to be flatter my mind that I had found the ONE! Doubts that kept coming up I just keep pushing aside...until finally within the span of a week God really made it startlingly clear to me that he wasn't the ONE. My mindset has changed now and I'm now at a point where...of undecided. Haha, sorry to not  answer directly. It seems nice to think that the is one right person out there for everybody, but some people think the opposite, that there isn't a right person out there, just have to find someone who you can't live without. So I don't know what to think and I fell like I'm rambling on. I do, but I don't think that there is only one perfect mate.
But what I do know is what is essential for the guy I marry to have:
  • a man of God striving to glorify and magnify Christ in all things
  • a man who challenges me in my faith and encourages me
  • a man who cherishes and adores me
  • a man who I respect
  • a man who's values and convictions align closely to mine (for example: a heart for mission work and Reliv)
And then not so essential, but nice to have:
  • sweet guitar playing skills
  • can go from country boy to finer things in one day
  • likes concerts and art museums 
  • likes to travel
  • experience in hiking/camping/backpacking
  • likes dancing
So...thats all I got for now!


Like the beat of a song, and eet is just not quite right, like most things are when we try to remember them after we've forgotten them.

This song basically sums up the way I'm feeling about my life the last year and a half in so many ways...

(the following is someones elses interpretation of the song meaning, and it fits)
When you lose something or someone dear to you, it's confusing and painful....

- It's like forgetting the words to your favorite song.
- You can't believe it; you were always singing along.
- It was so easy and the words so sweet.
- You can't remember; you try to feel the beat

"I found, is closest to the disbelief, the "I can't believe this is happening" feeling. And the last line 'You can't remember, you try to feel the beat' is trying to regain what you lost."

- You spend half of your life trying to fall behind.
- You're using your headphones to drown out your mind.
- It was so easy and the words so sweet.
- You can't remember; you try to move your feet

"The first line regards all the energy and the time spent trying to regain what you've lost, "falling behind" is like going back to when things were well, when you remembered the words to your favorite song. The next line, is about escaping your sorrow and your pain. And the next 2 lines are about trying to regain what you've lost by doing something familiar associated with it (in this example, that would be moving your feet like you did while singing your favorite song)."