Monday, February 11, 2008


I just realized I haven't posted a blog here since August. And chances are no one reads this anymore. And I can't say I blame them. I'd stop reading too. Obviously, since I stopped blogging.

Maybe I'll take after a good friend of mine and start posting an anonymous blog....tempting.


Well, today is the one year anniversary of my trip to London with my friend Sara.

I cried.

England holds so many wonderful memories, and Londo is definitely one of them. I fell in love with that place the moment we entered the city. Nevermind it was 10:30pm, raining and the last time I would see Sara. Just pulling into the city on that big bus was a thrill. I was actually in London. The next few hours proved to be the most hysterical of my enitre 4 months in England. It started with a broken luggage wheel and ended with taking a bath in the worlds smallest bathroom. I'll never forget the look on Sara's face when I started dragging her 75 pound suitcase through the wet streets of London. We made our way to the tube, somehow, and spent the next hour trying to figure out how in the heck it worked. We must have gotten on and off about 4 different lines as we navigated the supposedly brilliant plans of the Underground. Keep in mind we're traveling with all of Sara's luggage, as she was heading home, and my own stuff for the next couple of days. We couldn't help but laugh as her smaller suitcase got stuck in the doors of the subway, and we ended up nearly losing it. People were staring and we knew it, but it didn't matter. We were having the time of our lives. As we wandered the dark streets trying to discern the directions given us by our London hosts, we kept saying how ridiculous the whole thing was, and how wonderful a story it was all going to be. And boy is it. We somehow managed to find our way to Fabian Street without being mugged or attacked. Which was a relief. We stumbled into the blue house on the corner and Jill and Dave stifled their laughter as we pulled off our wet socks and shoes, and collapsed on their couches.

The next 2 days go down in history as the 2 best days of my life. Touring London on a red doubel decker bus, eating carrot and coriander soup in a dirty pub in Picadilly Circus, licking Big Ben, and spending the entire time with Sara. Then traveling back to Sheffield on my own, in the quiet of my own mind, listening to Augustana, and feeling completely alive. I remember thinking, "This is what life is about."

It's no secret that I miss England. And that there are moments I truly, and deeply regret ever leaving. But I know that I needed to come home. For whatever reason, God wanted me to come home. And I know there are people who don't believe me, but that's there issue. Not mine.

I can't believe London was a year ago. It seems like it was just yesterday I was hugging Sara goodbye, and crying as I caught the train back to the bus station. It was hard to say goodbye,but I'd do it all over again if I could.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

adjustments and changes

two of my least favorite things. and i'm pretty sure that there's a large majority of people who woudl agree with me. adjustments and changes are hard, and messy. they take time, energy, faith and patience, and let's be honest- those 4 things are not easy to produce. i realize there may be a select few of you who think that change is fun, and to you i say this- you're sick. in the head, need to see a shrink sick.

back to my changes.

life has been a royal mess the past few months, as you would know if you've been reading my blogs. i've made bad decisions, followed by even worse ones, sometimes redeemed by a really good, really big one. but the reality is that my life is a mess.

in the last 6 months i've moved 4 times, made 3 life altering decisions, worked 4 different jobs, and have saved absolutely no money. i live in an unstable world, and my life is a reflection of that. there have been only 2 consistent things for me through all of this. the love and support of family and friends, and my God. And praise the Lord for His consistency! Without that....whoa, I don't even want to think about where I'd be.

anyways, i feel the need to write all this because the last week has really made me think. we suffered a major tragedy right here in this city, when 2 news helicopters collided into one another while covering a car chase, killing all 4 crew members. and then just a few days later we watched the bridge in minneapolis collapse killing several and injuring more.

it really makes ya think.

and just recently i've made a new friend who has reminded me through his own story that things can always be worse than they are. and that i should be thankful for where i am. the mess that it is.

so i'm gonna work on that, and i urge you to do the same. look at each day as a new adventure. a day to be lived as though it may be your last, as cliche as that sounds. it's imperative that we continue on in life, suffer tragedies, enjoy little pleasures, and love on each other as much as possible. regardless of what the circumstances surrounding us are.

and that's it. my heart. right now. still beating before you.

i love you all.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


that word has come out of my mouth more times than i can count over the last few weeks. His unbelievable, undeniable, undeserved provision. He's taken care of me, in so many ways it would take so much time to write out. but i thought that maybe i would share a few instances in which i have seen God's provision in my life lately.

the first is where i'm living/working. i'm staying with my parents for a little while (yeah, i'm that cool) but it's been such a blessing because it's given me the chance i needed to slow down a little and relax. and my mom works for a physical therapist here, and they needed an extra set of hands so guess who slipped right in? it's been a blast being able to work at something i genuinely enjoy, go home at the end of the day and relax. i've got my mom keeping me accountable to my daily Bible time, and we pray together every morning. provision.

the first week i was here in town i was nervous that i was going to get bored, and that i would be driven crazy by my parents and have no where to go and no one to turn to. and then God re-introduced me to some old friends from high school who were also up here for a little while. both girls are head over heels in love with the Lord and have been such an encouragement to me. we have been able to chat, and pray, and eat together and it's been so wonderful to have them here. provision.

and last but certainly not least, God has really protected my heart from this fear i had of people prodding me about why i came home early. i thought for sure i would be trying to explain it to person after person, which is not an easy task since it's not really an easy situation. but so far, anyone who's asked has been satisfied with my response of "it just wasn't where God wanted me to be." i've had a few go a little deeper, but everyone has been amazingly kind and gracious through this whole process. i've received so much love and support from the people who mean the most to me, and i am so unbelievably blessed. provision.

God is good. there's no denying that. and although i still have my bad days, i see a change in my heart, a growth that will continue to push me closer to Him and allow me to live my life the way He's intended all along. with Him. in love with Him. giving Him glory.

Praise Him. Forever.

My Last England Update.

Hey Everyone!!

Wow. I apologize for taking so long to get this out! It's been a pretty crazy few weeks here. As most of you know, I came home at the end of April, cutting my time in England short. There are so many reasons why I made that decision, but the one that is the most important is because God never gave me a peace about being there. There was always something that didn't sit right, didn't feel right. I know that things aren't always good, and wonderful, especially when walking with the Lord (Satan tends to attack the hardest when we're close to the Lord) but there was something that just didn't fit. So I took the months of February and March and prayed. I asked you to pray. I spent time in His Word, searching for an answer. I cried, and I begged Him to make it clear. And He did. He made it abundantly clear to me that I needed to come home. It would take pages upon pages to fill in all the details, so I'll just leave it at this. God showed me more about who I am in Him while I was there, than I've ever experience before. And that lead me to the conclusion that I was not where He wanted me to be.

So I'm home. And there really is no place like home.

The month of April was trying, and intense. I felt every emotion under the sun in those 30 days. Sadness, glee, excitement, worry. We had two Easter camps right in the middle of the month, and I have to say, those were the most physically exhausting 2 weeks of my life! The kids were on break from school and ready to have fun! The weather cooperated and we were able to spend a majority of the 4 days they were with us outside. We re-introduced the Raft Building activity, where kids worked together to build a raft that they would then float around the pond on. The kids really enjoyed themselves as they paddled around gathering random sports equipment and trying not to fall into the stinky pond water. We were able to have picnics outside, play water games and even pull out the water slide a couple of times. April was a month where we saw a lot of progress around the Oakes, as we were able to start moving ground on the bottom lot they had recently purchased and were going to transform into a football field.

Easter Sunday I was blessed with the opportunity to spend the day with Becky, Jonny and Evan out at Chatsworth, an amazingly beautiful old manor house that has been turned into a museum. The day was perfect, and we enjoyed ourselves laying by the river and dwelling on the gift of victory over death. Those three became three very good friends, and I am so blessed by their presence in my life. I miss them terribly.

I would like to end this update by thanking you all for your support of me through this time. I realize that some of you may not have made the same choice I made, and that you won't agree with me coming home. But I appreciate the support and love you have shown regardless. Your patience, encouragement and grace has spoken volumes to my heart, and I am truly thankful to know you. It was not an easy decision to make, but I trust that God spoke into my heart, and I responded in the way He desired of me. I hope that you can trust Him as well, and know that He's working in amazing ways through you all in my life. Thank you again, and may He continue to bless you always!

In His love,

Monday, April 30, 2007

American soil...

is quite possibly the best soil on earth.

there really is no place like home. and i'm thrilled to be back. or at least almost back. i'm currently sitting in chicago o'hare international airport. it's been quite the day, and i have to be honest and tell you all that i'm exhausted. but the adrenaline that's rushing through my system right now is covering it up enough so, so that i can write this blog.

but it's good to be home.

this morning as i said goodbye to becky, i wanted to jump back in the car and forget i even planned on leaving. it was too hard to look her in the eyes, let alone say those awful words. i just hugged her and told her i loved her. and then i turned and walked away without looking back. because i knew if i did, i would break down. and i needed to be strong this morning. not just for me, but for her too. so i just walked through the doors and down the train tracks.

and i miss her. so, so much.

we decided however that it wasn't goodbye for us. because we know that our friendship is more than just a few months of good laughs. we're closely knitted now, friends for life. and i trust that i'll see her again. in fact, i'm going to make sure it happens. because i can't live without her, and i refuse to try. so there.

ok, i'm done. i'm really tired and am comtemplating finding a quiet place to sit down and relax for a bit. this stool i'm sitting on is causing poor posture and my back is aching.

home sweet home, here i come.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

the bigger picture

we all know that God has a bigger picture for our lives. that there are things we'll never understand, but they fit into the BP perfectly. things that seem unbelievable or unfair. but we know, we trust that God has a better plan for us, and our situations.

so why then, when the things i mentioned above happen, do we immediately ask "why?"? if as a Christian, we're aware of the truth that God is mysterious and works in ways we don't always comprehend, why do we question it? because we're human i suppose.

the reason i ask, is because i found myself questiong God this week in regards to a pretty amazing revelation in my life. why now? why not a month ago? why not before i made the decision to leave? and then i found myself being angry that i would question Him. i know there's a BP here, and i'm not seeing it for various reasons. but i have to trust that this is just another piece to the puzzle. this is another stroke of the brush that is the tapestry of my life. so then i started to wonder what it was He was trying to teach me through it. and that's where i'm at right now. what lesson is there to be found? what does He want me to learn through it?

those questions are not easily answered, but i'm anxious to see what the outcome is.