One day until the new year....

God is good. He has been so faithful this past year and I in my own human strength cannot show him the mountain of gratitude that he deserves. I am thankful for the family that I have, and how they listen to me and offer advice where needed, and I am so grateful for the friends that I have made over the years.

God is good.



Good advice is given when you least expect it. Especially when it is given by someone whom you least expect to give it. I have been waffling between a couple of critical options for next semester, and stressing and trying to pray about it all. Last night, I felt like I had come to the end of my rope. There is no more hope. Yes, God was there, but I needed him to speak to me more audibly, so that I could hear his directions for my life. This morning I got to work, and my boss was not in her office like usual, but rather in the staff office. Had she been in her office, I may not have opened up or shared with her like I did. When she spoke with me, suddenly it all made sense, and I felt free to choose the option that made the most sense. Now I have so much peace, and I don't feel so stressed. Praise the Lord for timely wisdom!



Indian love

The spices, onion, garlic, tomatoes, chicken, coconut milk are on standby, like sentinels. Music is softly playing in the background, the beat of the drum compelling us to dance. My bangles jingle softly as I reach up to pull the hair back from my face. And then you say, "Let's do it, babe. We own this meal." One hour later, our fingers are covered in delicious rice and curry from eating with our hands, and our bellies are satisfactorily full. Dang, can we cook :) I love how we can dress up in our Indian outfits without inhibition, and how simply eating the food takes you back to Pak'stan. How the time seemed to fly by, and all too soon the night was over. Jake, for making our third Indian date awesome!


Parties, I love parties :)

This morning before I went to work, I was at home with Hee-Sook, and we were playing tricks on Jake while talking with him on MSN. I thought he would be nonplussed, and wonder who he was talking to, but he figured out pretty quickly who was chatting. It's scary to think how easily it could be pretend to be someone else on the internet.

I worked today, and then went to a surprise birthday party/potluck for one of my friends. It was a lot of fun, and we played games after the meal. I love playing Dutch Blitz, and also played some crokinole (sp?) which I haven't played in the longest time.

I hope you have a great evening.



Ah, que dia bom...

I traveled to a Brazilian friend's house today, to practice Portuguese with her. It turned out that another one of her friends was there as well, and I had such a good visit with them. At times the words in my head seemed to be a gallimaufry, and I kept speaking French instead of Portuguese. It was such a good time, and we left and reminisced about how wonderful Brasil is. They told me next time I go, I have to go to the south, because it is very beautiful, apparently. I want to go back so badly.

I am visiting Hee-Sook right now, and am going to sleep over at her house. I hope you have a great evening.



Build up to break down...

Over the past week I have been training my body to get more sleep, and last night, when I only got maybe five hours, it was quite obvious. I woke up with dark rings under my eyes, was late for work, and almost didn't go to Greek class. The outcome? One hundred percent on my Greek homework and a roborant nap this evening. Out of our crazy lives God revives us and completes within us work that we ourselves cannot do without Him.

I have been letting my guard down lately, not watching for the ways evil slips under my armour, through the cracks that I do not allow God to patch up right away. I feel my resistance waning for those secret sins which are my thorn in the flesh. I don't think there has ever been a time where life has been easy for Christians, but God never said it would be. I feel like society wants to pull me down so easily, and I can be so allured by pop culture and the message of sexuality that it exudes. I am disgusted by the perversion that is all around me, and how it is so subtle in it's enchantment. It comes to us packaged with superficial beauty and allurement, yet when opened up reveals the spiritually deadened, evil, and lost souls of all of humanity. I am appalled with the complacency I have towards it and how my spirit becomes numb to the ever growing decay that infiltrates. I am ashamed with how much of it we let in, how much of it we allow ourselves to be exposed to, while at the same time expecting there to be no consequences. It is our souls we are playing with here, my friends, and our holiness that we trade in carelessly like Esau with his birthright. Pop culture and the cares of this world will not feed our souls and will not lead us closer to Christ, but will send us careening down a pathway that leads to destruction.

I have been so enamored with the monastic life, and how monks (and nuns) devote their lives to Christ, throwing off the cares of this world to become closer to God. Of course, even for them it is not easy, but they are constantly encouraged by one another and by our Lord, whom they spend so much time reading about and praying fervently to. "Be in the world, but not of it." I desire so much to read God's word constantly, and sometimes when I am at school, it's all I can do not to run home and open up my Bible and read for hours. But, the reality is that I don't actually run home. I don't actually soak in His Word like I wanted to, because I get so distracted by my computer, by eating, by the internet. My mind doesn't stop and

be still.

There always seems to be endless distractions and lovelier attractions.

On the other hand, I would never want to get so caught up in my own spiritual life that I forget to focus on sharing the Gospel of Christ with others. Yet, for the sake of saving myself from my fleshly desires and throwing all cares behind me, I would gladly pursue Christ and the holiness that he desires to cultivate within me.

19 Remember my affliction and roaming,
The wormwood and the gall.
20 My soul still remembers
And sinks within me.
21 This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
22 Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “ The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,

“ Therefore I hope in Him!”
25 The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the LORD.
-Lamentations 3:19-26



Nothing is new...

As I listen to the bath water run in the next room, eager to slip into the hot water steaming up the scent of vanilla bath soap, my toes curl in anticipation of finally being warm again. Like most people I know, it is the outer extremities that become cold the most.

I am grateful for the weather this year. Yes, it may be cold, but there could also have been snow already for two weeks or even a month. Living in Canada and despising snow may seem to be an oxymoron for some, but more and more I am meeting people who simply love the heat, and wait anxiously for the summer to come with the warmth of the sun.

Yet, we are called to be patient, and to be content with each season we have. God has definitely provided us with variety, which I am thankful for; I must learn be his myrmidon with grace and less complaining.
Hope you all have a great day



Angel's Song...

It is December 1st today, only 24 days until Christmas. That doesn't seem like a long time. It really isn't that long of a time. And there are many exams and papers for people to finish up between now and then. Somehow, miraculously (with God's empowering help) we get it all done!

I have been listening to a wonderful song but Chloe Agnew, one of the Celtic Women. It is quite lilting and almost magical sounding.

I am so happy today. I bought a flat iron and blow drier a month ago, and realized after I used it twice that it hurt my hair. I tried taking it back once already, but they wouldn't let me. I tried again today, and they refunded my money to me! Praise the Lord for that! I was praying so hard when I went in there, because the lady was hemming and hawing, and I wasn't sure what she would do. Now I have some extra money for rent this month, and I know God will provide the rest.

It is going to be a lean Christmas on the gifts end from me this year, but really, gifts and materialism isn't what Christmas was meant to be is it?

May God bless you and keep you tonight!




Broken Promises...

A recent situation brought to my attention how easy it is for us to make promises to people, only later to break them. I didn't realize how often I do that, how many times I tell people I will do something, I will visit them, I will call them, I will pray for them- and yet I don't. I am sorry to any of you I have ever made a promise that I didn't follow through on, that I didn't actually do.

How blessed we are to serve a loving God who always does what He promises, and who will never let us down! Praise Him!



I wanna sock hop...

I want to write. But don't know what to say.

I just feel like putting down random words, in hopes that they will begin to make sense. In any case, is this even considered writing? I am staring at a computer screen, clacking away on the keyboard. Technically, I am simply typing, rather than writing. Do you ever wonder if more creativity comes out when you write on a pad of paper, with a pen filled with ink?

This morning in church, my mom said God gave her a vision of everyone in the world praising him at their worship services. She said it was like she was sitting with God above the earth, watching their songs, music, hearts, and attitudes swirling up to him like a sweet aroma. She said it was such a tremor of sound, and so beautiful. I think I can somewhat understand how that would sound, particularly when I am listening to beautiful music, so full and rich in its reverberation. When I listen in headphones, it feels like the sound is within me, and I am a part of it. Why does there seem to be such a connection between people and the music they listen to? We have a fixation with it, and such a love (almost to the point of idolization) of music. However, there is something to be said about how notes can be arranged to such an extent that they move someone emotionally.

As I listen to a soothing version of Silent Night, I bid you a wonderful evening, urging you to send up your worship and praise as a sweet aroma to our God.



Bite in, Chill out...

Stress and worry do nothing but create ulcers.

Ulcer: a sore on the skin or a mucous membrane, accompanied by the disintegration of tissue, the formation of pus, etc.

I don't want an ulcer. I can simply rely on the Lord, and lean on him to deal with my problems. Because He will. Just not in the time my selfish human heart wants them to be dealt with.

I am going home this weekend, which will either calm me down or cause me to question my ability to live without losing my composure. Either way, I am excited. Because I love my fam and can't wait to see them again :)

Love always,


Six months and counting...

Tempus fugit, and yet it seems to go by so slowly at the same time. That is how it feels looking back on the past six months of my relationship with Jake. Incredulous I stand, exuberance flooding my heart and spilling over at the ages. I am still in awe at how God brought us together, and how the impossible became hopeful and the confusion became exceedingly clear. If you had told me in January that I would have been dating Jake by November and oh-so-in-love, I would have called your bluff. Since dating him I have been sad, frustrated, confused, and yet have laughed, kissed, hugged, loved, cuddled, and cried tears of happy joy. I have been encouragingly challenged and emotional, while also having been shown so much love and unhesitatingly forgiven. Being in a relationship with someone is like revealing your inner core, the real you, or like having a doctor lay you out on a surgical table under the bright light and rip you open. When someone is so close to you, they can see that part of you that is ripped open and hanging out, the ugly insides, where the truth, inevitably, is exposed. It is scary and terrifying, and at times humiliating to the point of tears being vulnerable with Jake like that; and yet, I know how precious and important it is for us to be real with each other, and to see God's grace as He works in and through us. God has truly blessed us, and I know for a fact that it is ONLY because of Him that I am dating Jake today. He continues to mold and shape us as we seek him through his word individually, and as we encourage each another daily. I am so thankful for the godly woman that I desire to be for Jake, but I recognize that it will only come as I seek to be a godly woman for God first. He is the only one who can help me to live out my faith and who can show me where I need to change to continue to pursue holiness.

Our six month was actually yesterday, and we spent the whole day together celebrating this wonderful milestone in our relationship. It's no fifty years, that's for sure, but in this day and age, six months is an anomaly! We went to see Disney's A Christmas Carol in 3D (which was the first time he had seen a movie in 3D) and then we went out for food at this Greek restaurant we have been dying to try out for a long time. The food was excellent(we had pork souvlaki that was both delicious and largely proportioned), the price was right, and they even stayed open for us a bit longer, so we had the restaurant to ourselves! It was a delightful day that will never be forgotten.

I am both hopeful and expectant for whatever God has in store for us in the future, because He has given me such a peace for the present.

I love you, Jake!!! Thank you for asking me to be your girlfriend! You are such a wonderful gift and an amazing man, and I am proud to call you my boyfriend!

Love always,


Noticing Trends...

Once again I felt like falling asleep during history class this morning, and Jake and I finally figured out why. During the week, Wednesday's are the only days I have to get up an hour earlier so I can be at the school for 8:15 am. Every other day of the week I have to be there at 9AM. It seems silly that a simple hour can throw off my body so much. Even as I sit here typing this all I can think about is how much I want to be sleeping right now.

It doesn't help that my mind decided to have a mental marathon during my dreams between 5 and 7:30 this morning. They were probably the most intense and emotionally taxing dreams I have had in a while. There were three of them, and they sort of melded into one, and although I do not care to go into detail here, I found them to be quite sobering; most definitely some things that I need to pray about further.

Just want to thank you again, Nana, for faithfully posting comments on my blog :) I know a few people that read them regularly, and it's nice to have visual recognition of that. I could probably name all the people who I know read my blog, and because of that I can safely say I love you all!

Have a great day... and enjoy the sun and the beautiful fall November day, without snow, because I know I am, especially in the comfort of my sleep.




Recital and Obssessions...

Tonight was my bellydance recital. My first one ever. And it was everything I had hoped for and more! I got to perform for the first time in public as well as watch live bellydance acts. I was nervous before I started dancing, but as soon as I started dancing I had no qualms whatsoever. I was just so excited to be dancing finally! At the end, a bunch of the bellydancers got back on stage and danced improv, with someone in the front leading! It was hard for me to do what they were doing because I am not that good yet, but I hope to be someday! My goodness, it is a lot to aspire to. I think it is such a beautiful dance form, and bellydancers are so talented! After long years of wanting to learn bellydance, my dreams came true and God gave me this opportunity. It makes me so happy! Sometimes I feel like I am obssessed with it, and could spend hours watching videos and studying the way the dancers move. But I don't want to think about bellydancing more than God; there needs to be some balance in this!




Today Katie is coming, in fact, she will be here in about a half an hour. I am soooo excited! I haven't seen her since about june or july. Either month has long come and gone. Also, this will be the first time she has seen my house, in person , that is. I gave her a virtual tour on Skype one time!

Last night my roommate did my make-up, as a suggestion of what I should do for my bellydance recital tomorrow. I may not do exactly this, but I like how dramatic it looks.

And this is my roommate and I:

We had so much fun doing this, and I am glad when I can have spontaneous bonding moments with my roommates! We were sad that Mandy couldn't have been here too, then it would have truly been everyone bonding!

I hope everyone is doing well. I must go and clean my room now!!!

Take care..


Here you are down on your knees again...

I am listening to the new Flyleaf song, "Again" which is an amazing tune full of passion and intentionality. Here are the lyrics:

I love the way that your heart breaks
with every injustice and deadly fate
Praying it all be new
and living like it all depends on you

Here you are down on your knees again
trying to find air to breathe again
Only surrender will help you now
I love you please see and believe again

I love that you’re never satisfied
with face value wisdom and happy lies
you take what they say and go back and cry
you’re so close to me that you nearly died

Here you are down on your knees again
trying to find air to breathe again
Only surrender will help you now
I love you please see and believe again

they don’t have to understand you
be still
wait and know I understand you
be still
be still

Here you are down on your knees again
trying to find air to breathe again
Only surrender will help you now
The floodgates are breaking
and pouring out

Here you are down on your knees
trying to find air to breathe
right where I want you to be again
i love you please see and believe again

Here you are down on your knees again
trying to find air to breathe again
Right where I want you to be again
See and believe!

This is probably the 10th to 15th time I have listened to the song since last night. I love the reminder it gives me of how much we need God. When we feel like we are floundering beneath the intricacies, uncertainties, and pressures of life, all we can do is go to God for help, and cry out to Him, surrendering all to Him. I praise God for this reminder, because I so often forget that He is right there, waiting to listen to me and help me.

I am going to my last bellydance class tonight. It has been a wonderful 8 weeks, and I cannot wait to take the next session!

I helped out at an drop-in center this afternoon, and I could not believe all the girls in Gr. 6, who are only 11 years old, talking about their "boyfriends". I know it can be so innocent, but it breaks my heart to think about how little innocence they are exposed to in their every day lives. All I can do is pray that I can be a godly influence in the mere hour I spend with them each week.




It's been too long...

It was about three weeks ago that I decided to expend my fury upon my laptop bag as I tried stuffing it into my half locker at the school. Even when it came crashing down on top of my foot, I did not find out until much later that I had broken the hard drive in my computer. I am grateful have connections and friends who fix computers, and one of my friends was so gracious in fixing my own. Praise the Lord!

I have obviously not written a blog in a long time. It has been too long, people. Much too long.

Jake and I broadened our culinary skill once again tonight, as we made scalloped potatoes. It was an adventure laden with chopping and mincing skills, stirring and pouring skills, and waiting and chatting skills. I forgot how much I love cooking with him.

As we ate a romantic dinner by candlelight at the dining room table which we rarely use, we caught up on some things that had been bothering us, and simply enjoyed being together. I love spending time with him immensely.

He brought me flowers, beautiful purple carnations! I had never seen purple carnations before this occasion, and will take pictures of them. I adore flowers, and I love how he can give me flowers "Just Because". He is one of a kind, and I adore him!

I found this website entitled "Win free stuff" and I want to see if I can win a free iPod Touch, so I must post this website: ( i posted it below)

It has some good information about organ donations, and I find it interesting. You should check it out!

Anyways, have a good night!




Eu te louvarei...

Praise his Name!

The weather outside is WARM.

Praise his Name!

I have not yet caught the sickness flying through dorm.

Praise his Name!

Christ died for my sins.

Praise his Name!

I have a Saviour who reigns!


Bibliographies of the annotated variety...

I need more discipline. That is all. And I have berated myself in my head quite enough, thank you very much. Simply put, it is hard to juggle a part time job, and two classes. It seems ridiculous, even laughable, and yet undeniably true.

I don't know how God is going to teach me discipline, but I believe if I press onwards and don't give up or give in to the pressure I will succeed. He is right here with me, and all I have to do is trust him in this one. I am not alone.

I just really need to finish the homework assignment that was due today.



Looking back, but not regretting...

Natalie is up for a month, as her husband is doing work around here. It seems so weird to say "husband". I am so happy to see her, and we have already hung out a couple times in the past two days. Today I finally bought new jeans. They are different from what I am used to, so we shall see if I like them after all.

I am listening to Laura Pausini. She is a wonderful singer, and expresses her talent through English, Spanish, and her native tongue of Italian.


Birthday week-end...

This week-end it was my birthday, and I was able to drive home with Jake and Mel. We didn't do too much, but what we did do was so much fun! On Saturday night Dad treated us all to Chinese food, and Mel bought a delicious Skor cake from Mariposa market. Jake and I were able to go to Brewery Bay and get the fried pickles that our taste buds have been dreaming about since July. On Sunday, Maria invited Jake and I to go over to her house for homemade waffles, and so we went :) We enjoyed every moment of her company, and the waffles, which we deliberately smothered in woodles of whipped cream and bits of bananas and riffs of raspberries and pieces of pineapple. It was delightfully enjoyable! Later on, everyone but Mom and Dad went to Harbour Inn, and we got to go for a swim. Thanks so much for having us there, Nana and Poppa! We had such a great visit, and I can't believe how fast the time went.

Mom was very sick when we got there on Friday night, but our friend Maria, who is a reflexologist, put her essential oils on her and prayer for mom to get better, and the transformation was incredible! Her energy was back up within hours, and it is easy to see that God is doing great acts of healing through his servant Maria. It is astounding.

Last night driving home on the 401 in the dark was not quite the nightmare I was expecting it to be. Jake drove for about 30 minutes, but he was quite tired so I continued on. God quite literally created a space bubble around me a plethora of times on the journey home. Every so often, especially after I was particularly freaked out with changing lanes, I would find myself separated about 100 ft. in front and 100 ft. in back from the cars surrounding me, as if God was saying, "You go ahead and relax, you're almost home." I have never experienced God's presence so much during driving before, and am infinitely grateful to him for his mercies.

Thank you to all of you who made my birthday a blast, my family and Jake and Ruth-Ann, and Maria :)



Work and Chocolate...

I am sitting here in the office at work, eating delicious Xocai Chocolate and taking a little break before I continue on with my jobs for the night. I enjoy working in the library, but I have decided that shelving books is quite a hassle. I believe I glorified my memories of working here before- and yet I am simply grateful for this job!

Last night I was convicted of spending too much time on the internet i.e. wasting time. I could spend hours looking for music and aimlessly searching around for things to waste my time with. I do not want to be the kind of woman who squanders my time. I want to have a purpose, and I want to glorify and focus on God in everything that I do. I was encumbered by the fact that I have been treating music like it was my idol. When I can spend more time on the internet than I can reading my Bible and getting into the Word, then I have some serious issues going on here.
I don't want to be a fake Christian, nor do I want to be weak. I want to be a strong Christian, and I want to know what God says and believe it, so that I can share it with others. I sincerely hope this is not something that I have learned this week that simply flies out the window next week. I want to embrace these truths and become truly and deeply passionate about my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.



Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine...

Today my Oma had surgery on a brain tumour, and God pulled her through :) Praise the Lord! It was a seven hour complicated surgery, and we weren't sure if it was going to be successful or not. Yesterday was an emotion-filled Thanksgiving gathering. I am so grateful to God for keeping her here with us a while longer. I know that is selfish of me, because I'm sure she would not mind going to heaven right now. However, she has such an amazing ministry here on earth, and I have so much to learn from her still. I know these days ahead will be hard and long as she recuperates and learns to deal with the deafness which ensued from the operation, but she is alive, and she is well, and praise to our God for that!

My week-end was wonderful, as I got to spend time with both sides of the family and visit with them. I also had fun doing henna with mom and Vanessa on Saturday night at home. I'm looking forward to this week-end and being home once again for a baby shower.

I am feeling quite melancholy and less than enthusiastic right now. I am not sure why. My History professor's mother died today, so we don't have class tomorrow. I am sad for him, but I know it is a relief in some ways. She had Alzheimer's disease for 22 years, so it must have been so hard on their family.

Live out loud...



On things that matter...

Let's not take for granted the things we have, and remember that they are temporal, and that God gave them all to us. I am grateful for friends who understand, a family that loves me, an incredibly thoughtful and sweet, godly boyfriend, as well as many other things. Currently, these are the ones that matter. If you are reading this right now, I love you!



Rainy Day Mondays don't always bring me down...

I stayed up way too late than I should have last night, which is not surprising at all. I have decided that I am going to bed early tonight, so I can get up on time for choir in the morning. I believe my cold is getting better, although it has migrated into a cough (a mild intermittent one at best). Despite this, I went for a 15 minute run this morning, in the rain, and it felt so refreshing. I am so happy because I have kept up exercising every other day for a whole week now. This hasn't happened in so long! I just hope I can continue doing it, because I feel so much better after I run.

I have been working through 2 Samuel in my devos, and this morning I was reading in chapter 12, the part where God shows his displeasure about David's sin with Bathsheba and against her husband Uriah(whom David killed so that he could marry Bathsheba). In this chapter, God allows David's son with Bathsheba to get sick, and immediately David fasts and cries out to God to heal his son. For seven days, David fasts and lies before God. However, when his son dies, he washes and dresses himself and goes to the House of the Lord to worship him. This act astounds me (and apparently David's servants also). It doesn't say so in the text, but I am sure that David was repentent of his sin, and even though he wanted his son to live, he recognized that God is ruler of all. He went and worshiped God despite all that had happened, giving back all the glory that was due Him as the Almighty. God punished him for his suffering, yet David continued to worship Him because he knew that the consequences were as a result of his sin. As I read on in the chapter, it went on to say that afterwards, Bathsheba gave birth to Solomon, and God was pleased with him. My Bible notes said that this is a priceless example of God's grace to David and Bathsheba, because their marriage came about through sinful ways, yet he chose to continue the line of Judah through their descendent. It is good to be reminded of how God's grace flows upon us on times when we seem to be least deserving of it. I also like being reminded of how God is so active in our lives. He used the prophet Nathan to convey his deep displeasure of David's actions, and He punished David, not because He is a hateful God, but because 1.) He abhors sin and wants us to remember this and 2.) because he loves us, and wants us to do what is right. The answer is simple: God expects obedience from us, and when we do not obey Him, He teaches us in the most unexpected ways why we must obey.


I am sitting here listening to some music by a Turkish woman, seriously loving how diverse God made everyone, and how dance plays such a part in music. N.B.- I am sitting here. But barely. All I want to do is get up and dance! And I wish I knew enough bellydance to bust out some sweet moves. ah....i love dancing. and with every breath God gives me, I will continue to dance until the day I die!



ah, c'est bon...

My day: I went to church, and then had perogies and bacon which Jake made, then went to a birthday party and ate delicious cake and then looked at my vocab cards with Jake, and then had French club with Lois, Stef, Steph, and Amy, where we ate goat cheese on crackers and drank sparkling pomegranate juice, and spoke lots of French! The end.




How many of you remember that song that goes like this...

Jesus and others and you!
What a wonderful way to spell joy,
Jesus and others and you!
In the life of each girl and each boy!

J is for Jesus who goes in first place,
O is for others we meet face to face,
Y is for you in whatever you do...
Put yourself third and spell JOY!

I was reminded of that tonight, as I was doing my devotions(which, by the way, was an incredible time, one I have not purposed to do for too long). I read Philippians, and there were so many verses that stood out to me. A few in particular, but one I would like to share with you tonight.

"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others betterh than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others." (Phil. 2:3-4)

Far too often I think of myself, and my own so-called "problems". All this inward focused pondering is not Christ-like, especially if it causes me to start complaining and whining to others about my life. I desire so dearly to be self-less, and to genuninely be concerned for others and how they are doing.

It is so refreshing when God lays things on my heart as a gentle rebuke, and afterwards, to share with others. I am so grateful to be able to blog, and to hopefully encourage people with what God has so patiently and, almost painstakingly, been teaching me.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord- and I have breath, I have life, and I was created to praise Him and bring glory to Him, even when I didn't deserve it. God, you are so good.

I love The Benjamin Gate, and here are some lyrics from them, called "Live out Loud":

Fire reflecting in these eyes
Visions of You, Imagine my surprise
Sweat hot hands, cold shivers down my spine
Visions of You, Your Spirit so divine

Live out, live out, live out loud

Your eyes pierce through this life of mine
And bring me to give all that I can find
Revelation my heart's desire
Pull me up and out of the mire


I am a witness
I'm at the scene of this
I'm throwing myself
I'm throwing myself into you


We will see you come again Jesus

I love this song so much, because it's real, and it shows how, even when we are fallen and human, Jesus sees us for who we are, He reveals himself to us, and we can still live for him, shining as lights brightly for Him!!! He wants us to give our all to Him, not just little parts. Ah, so good.

I love it when I am getting close with God, when I come into His presence, and when I am being real with him. Especially when I am writing. He blows me away with what He inspires, and how it flows through my fingertips. Here is what He inspired tonight:

Lord, fill me up
From your cup
Renew my flame
Let your name
Roll off my tongue,
Always sung
In your honour-
God, my father
You show me how
To love you now,
To you I bow,
To you I give,
I live,
I breathe,
I beseech you...
Humbly I kneel
In loudest appeal--
You're real!
I love you, LORD!!!!



Movies and colds...

I have been such a suck the past two days. I am not even really that sick, just a stuffed up nose that sometimes runs, and a little bit of a swollen throat. However, yesterday I just wanted to stay in bed for the whole day, but Jake reminded me that it was Pizza Pop. I decided to get out of my pyjamas and go to the school, and hear about how God is working in other people's lives and their missions organizations. Afterwards, I invited Jake, Mel and Nate to my house to watch a movie. After we watched "Miss Congeniality", Mel and Nate went for an ice cream run, and then we all watched "Kate and Leopold", which is such a cute movie. It was fun to relax with them, and to eat ice cream, and just chill out. Today I don't feel like doing much of anything either, but I need to study for my Greek quiz on Tuesday. I think I will go for a run first, that will at least get the energy pumping through my body, and then I will feel like doing some work.

One of the ladies in the office I worked for during the summer told me that she might be able to give me about 8 hours of work a week this coming month, which I am super pumped about! I needed more hours, and hopefully this will help me to save a bit for next semester.

I hope everyone who is feeling under the weather gets better soon!!!



Right Now...

Tonight I feel like doing everything BUT homework. Seems we are starting a trend here. I should be busier. I should do so many things. But the only thing that is THE most important is NOT what is due at the beginning of Greek class later on today. No, it is something far less temporal, far less materialistic, far less concerned with the tangible.

The one thing I SHOULD Be doing right now, at this very instant, is reading God's Word.

The one thing I SHOULD be doing right now is praying for all those people I said I would pray for today. It is unbelievable the amount of people who ask me to pray for them. I do, but not right when I should, and not with the amount of devotion I should.

The one thing I SHOULD be doing right now is NOT wasting time on facebook. It is all meaningless. It is all a vapour. It is not about what I want in life. It is not about what satisfies my desires and expectations. I am living only because my Lord is giving me my very breath. I live, because He died. Morever, I live because I was created with a purpose. A purpose that entails living in total surrender and abandon to Him, and to glorify the Father's Name.

And THAT, my friends, is what I am doing...

Right now.



Date night with my sis...

Last night, as I mentioned in my previous blog, I had to work on a book report. However, Mel and I had been making plans to see the movie Fame for a long time, and some much needed sister bonding time was needed. True to tradition, after the movie, we got really hyper, and it was awesome! I am so glad we were able to get away, and just have fun together. We really enjoyed the movie, which is basically a story following about six people through their highschool experience at a performing arts academy. Each of the teenagers has a passion, or, more truthfully, a particular skill they are talented at, such as drama, singing, dancing, or performing music. The movie showcased their struggles as they sought to make a name for themselves in the world, as well as the triumphs they created within friendships or joining a well-renowned dance troupe. It wasn't so much a musical as much as it was just a movie talking about real people living their lives. For the record, there was no blatant sketchy scenes, which made it even better!

It was great to hang out with Mel, and I hope we can make nights like these a weekly occurrence! Love you, Mel!

I am currently listening to two of Skillet's new singles, and can't wait to hear the rest of their newest album.


Oh History...How we love thee...

I am in the midst of writing a book report for History class. I know I am stalling right now, but I have been at it for an hour now, and decided to share an interesting paragraph I came across:

"Other issues also provoked controversy. History teachers at all levels have a responsibility to determine what sort of history they want their students to learn. Is memorizing "the facts" enough, or is it also necessary to instill a sense of critical and analytical thinking, a set of skills regarded in some circles as potentially seditious...Among other things, the study of history addresses questions of national identity and unavoidably arouses partisan debate." (History and Historians, Mark T. Gilderhus, p. 118).

Before reading this book, I had no idea that history created such a controversy like it does. I am chagrined to say it, but I believe that it was good to read such a dry book. In retrospect, I now understand why teachers make us do the things we do. What we sometimes think is a pain and just one more thing to do for school, professors know what the outcome will be. They enjoy challenging and stretching us, and I am happy that it still happens, no matter what year this history course is geared for.

I wasn't expecting to write my next blog about this, and perhaps neither were you. Bellydancing was high on the priority list, as was my week-end and speaking Portuguese on Sunday. However, God knows differently, and He alone knows why I start to understand things as I write about them seven hours before they are due.




Screens and Blinds...

Mandy and I were on a hunt for a screen and some blinds for her window. It was fun, and we felt like we accomplished something! I hope our landlord doesn't mind. We just borrowed them from the spare room upstairs! No one is living there right now anyways, so it doesn't really matter who has them.

It's another beautiful day outside today. I am so grateful to God for giving them to us, and absolutely do not want winter to come! I love this weather so much.

I have a greek quiz this week, on the alphabet and syllablizing. It should be interesting!



Breathing life...

I know I already posted a blog today, but I needed to write more. Tonight I stepped out for something, and quickly went back inside to change. I was resolved to go for a run. What a gorgeous night, thought I, and how could I let it slip by? With my house key firmly planted in my shoe, and determination in my step, I set off. As I started out, I kept a steady pace, and soon my lungs informed me of how out of shape I am. "You haven't run since July, maybe even June" they said. "You haven't even exercised very much of late." Needless to say, they weren't very encouraging. However, as my feet devoured the pavement and the movement covered my body in a sheen of sweat, I remembered how, back in April, I wasn't even at this place. How I couldn't even walk up a flight of stairs. How it hurt too much to do one push-up, let alone ten, which I accomplished tonight. God is so good, and He is the ultimate healer! I felt so blessed to have the strength in my legs to keep pressing on, the air in my lungs which coursed oxygen through me, and the sweat of good exercise running down my back. There are so many worse things that could have happened to me. And yet God breathed life back into me. He gave me the breath of life, not only back to my lungs and bloodstream, but also in my spiritual life. He alone is my strength, and He alone is the one I want to pursue, with perseverence, pressing onward and never looking back!

Week-end and Kind hearted people...

This week-end was the Heritage retreat. It was a lot of fun, and I am so glad I went. Also, the speaker, who happened to be Jake's cousin, was incredible. God placed some strong and important things on his heart to say to us about holiness and where it begins.

I went to the grocery store today with only a $20 bill because I didn't want to spend so much, and when my total went over and I had to give up my avocados, the man behind me in line offered to pay for them for me! He was a total stranger, and it was so nice of him to do that! Now I am excited to go eat some avocados.

Bellydance starts up this week. I can hardly wait, as there is so much anticipation!



First Day of Class...

Today was my first day of classes this year, and it was Greek. I have been so pumped to take this course, and the first thing he had us do was review English grammar. I want to get really good at it! (especially if I am going to teach ESL one day!)

My prof also had us introduce ourselves, where we are from, and what our language background is. Of course I was the last one, and my heart was beating so fast I could barely think. I was pretty sure it was going to pound right out from beneath my rib cage! I get so passionate for languages. When that excitement takes over, I can't help but grin from ear to ear. I get revved up for many things, but definitely not as much as I do about languages. I just know that God has given me a talent, and a love, for such a diverse thing he created within the midst of chaos. The diversity in communication did not come about until the Tower of Babel, and I am so glad God created it! Otherwise, maybe I would have had to be a professional belly dancer or something like that (grins facetiously).



So many things...

I want to go so many places.

I have so many dreams.

None of them can be realized at once.

And I am not the one who can make them come true.

I hear Brasil calling my name,

And India beckons me to return.

I want to teach English/help people to learn.

I want to immerse myself in the cultures, the sights, the smells, the love of people that are so different yet so much the same.

I just want to do what God wills.

I just want to be who He wants me to be.

I just want to live.

And love.

And travel.

And learn.

And share.

And experience.


But we can't have it all.

And I don't know what to do.





I hear you calling...

This morning was registration, and since I am only taking two courses this semester, I have considerably less to pay for. Praise the Lord for how He has provided for me so far; I will continue to trust in his provisions for the future. I didn't have to buy 3 out of the 4 textbooks, thanks to friends and the library. That alone saved me over $200 if you can believe it! Thanks to Rob and Dave for lending me two of the most expensive texts!

I am in the midst of doing laundry, and although I have a clothes line, I don't have any of those fancy clips you put on the line to prevent it from sagging. You don't realize all the little things that come in handy until you don't have them anymore. I just left it sagging, and hopefully it doesn't break! My towels are sopping wet, as I am still trying to figure out my old school washing machine.

I really need a day to just be on my own, and putter around my house, but that won't happen for a while yet. I am so tired and feel like my life is on the constant go right now. It could be because I live off campus and have yet to plan my day so that I won't have to keep walking back and forth, back and forth. It is interesting, that's for sure!

The sun is so beautiful today! How can anyone resist spending a little time outside?!



Corporate Worship is awesome...

Today was move in day for residence. Since I am no longer living in rez, it was rather strange for me. However, I am excited to make friends with people on campus.

We had the praise and worship night, with a few games beforehand to get to know one another and to make things less awkward. It continually amazes me how a bunch of people who don't know each other can come together as Christians and praise our Lord together, because we are united in Him. Praise Jesus! I was so blessed tonight, and felt that God was glorified through our worship to Him! I only hope that He was pleased with our acts of worship. Two of the Resident advisors gave their testimonies, ones that must have taken great courage and much prayer to share. They were both very encouraging, and showed a window of vulnerability that is so often present at this school. That is what I love, how we can be open with one another in our struggles (within the right context, of course).

While we were singing a song, I became overwhelmed with emotion. The song is called "The Stand" by Hillsong. Here are the lyrics:

You stood before creation
Eternity within Your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand

You stood before my failure
Carried the Cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders
My soul now to stand

So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

So I'll walk upon salvation
Your Spirit alive in me
This life to declare Your promise
My soul now to stand

So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

So I’ll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all

So I’ll stand
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours
The part that stuck out to me the most was how we sang,

So what can I say, what can I do, but offer this heart o God completely to you.

I became unexpectedly aware of how true that was. We had just been singing about God`s sovreignty and how he placed the world into motion, how He created us. He is in control of everything. My heart was in the mix of all that back in April. It is my heart that he was, and still is, in control of. With tears streaming down my face, I understood how powerful God is, and how much he deserves my heart. He healed me and saved me when I was in the hospital for a reason: to serve Him, and Him alone. I owe him everything, even my very life! So what can I do but offer my heart completely to Him? And so I stood before Him with my arms in the air, my heart abandoned and my soul surrendered because all I have is HIS, and all that I am is HIS.





Dill Pickle chips for lunch...

I am sitting here at home, with the taste of a tangy dill pickle chip in my mouth, trying to pick out the remains that are trapped in the grooves of my molars. Seriously though, we aren't eating only that for lunch, but now that I have allowed my taste buds to experience the tantalizing taste, I simply want more. That is what can happen when we open ourselves up to sin (and no, I am not equating dill pickle chips to sin-merely using them as an analogy). When we allow for a taste, our flesh wants more. It's hard to say no to sin.

The cool thing is, God has the victory over sin! We are not going through this Christian life alone! Today, I learned that sometimes God allows us to go through temptations and suffering. He allows Satan and his evil ones to tempt us, so that we can learn how to endure. We have a choice whether to give in to him, or whether to stand firm in what we believe in Christ. It is amazing, and somewhat hard to believe. My biggest desire is to firmly root myself in Christ, to read His Word and to pray, and to surround myself with people who can encourage me in my faith. I am only human, and I know that there are times when I will give in to temptations. If I rely on God alone, every time I am tempted, instead of depending on myself, He will give me the strength to endure and to persevere in my faith.



Home Time...

So, I was able to come home for a little bit this week-end. Ash drove me up because her brother had a ball tourney. It is exciting, and good to hang out with the fam.

I had Lois over for a visit last night. We ate tortilla chips with salsa, and caught up on life. I really love and admire that girl. She is a true friend, who isn't afraid to be honest, and speak the truth!

I don't like shucking corn, but I guess Mom is making it for dinner, so she had us do it. There were two bags, so I challenged Van to a contest to see who could shuck it the fastest. I have never had so much fun shucking corn in my life!




Sweet hearts, bitter hearts, now I can't tell you apart...

I am feeling very relaxed and rested today. I am just taking it easy, even though I have to work in a couple of hours.

My date with Jake was splendid, and even though we went down by the river, I only received a grand total of ONE mosquito bites! I learned my lesson, and wore socks. The moon was so pretty, and we enjoyed every moment. We also practiced a song we're singing together for my friend's wedding next week. I don't know why it took us so long to get around to it, because I absolutely LOVE singing with him! It was so much fun! The song is an arrangement he created of four similar songs: Bubbly, by Colbie Callait, Fidelity by Regina Spektor, I'm Yours by Jason Mraz, and 1 2 3 4 by Feist. God has given him such a talent, for SO many things!

I am excited to go home this week-end. It won't be for very long, but it will be nice to see everyone for a little bit at least.



Beggin' you for mercy...

So in total contrast of my last blog, I am now listening to Mercy by Duffy. Perhaps it was just the type of music I was listening to that i was annoyed with. Because I have no problem listening to Hillsong's praise and worship. I always feel in a very worshipful mood when I listen to their songs, and I can never get enough.

I am enjoying my sessions with my missions profs, in catching up on the class I was supposed to finish much earlier. I thought it would be kind of a drag, but, since it has been more one-on-one, I am able to ask questions I wouldn't have been if it was in a classroom setting. I am learning about many of the major issues and trends in missions, such as the charismatic movement, and missionary care, and globalization of the Christian center. We only have three more meetings, and then I have to read 20 books on the topics we have discussed and do annotated bibliographies on them. After that, it is just the exam to finish and I am FINITO!!!

Last night Cait slept over and kept me company. I made Aunt Tracey's artichoke dip, and we ate that and chocolate covered cranberries and watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It was fun, and nice to spend time with her. It's funny how even though we were roommates all summer, we really didn't do too much together. I like her :)

I saw Jake for 5 minutes today, and he made me happy! Well, actually he basically tickled me the whole time, so I was laughing and gasping for air, trying to ask him to stop. It was fun!

Missy and I went out for coffee, and it was great to see her for a little bit. She's moving to college on Saturday, so the times we see each other will be few and far between I fear. Although the people whom I would consider to be my best friends live in different cities from me, I still have many amazing friends here, and I look forward to getting to know them better.

What a gorgeous day today! God is so good in giving us some wonderful last days of summer, even though it is already September. I walked home from Starbucks and was able to enjoy the sun.

I am looking forward to tonight-Jake and I are going on a date! He has been doing training all this week, so I haven't seen much of him. This is why tonight is so special, and I cannot wait!



Music Overload...

I love music. It is a passion that runs deep within me. To play, to listen and to dance to. It has been ingrained in me since I was born. From before I was born. But lately, I have had no desire to listen to music. I will turn on a song, and then get bored so I will shut it off. Or I will just get annoyed with it. This doesn't happen often. But it is concerning. And disconcerting.

Perhaps God is telling me something. To embrace and to eventually crave silence and solitude.

I hope this won't be for forever, because it feels wrong to be hatin' on music.



Already September...

I am not going to write much today. Basically I just want to say enough so that I can post something on the first day of this month.

I have two takers for belly dancing, and this makes me very excited indeed! I know we are going to have a blast.

I don't have anything else to write. Just that I am annoyed with creepers.



You're Not Alone...

Last night I was saying good night to Jake on the front step of my house, then when I went to unlock the door, I couldn't get in! The door was unlocking, but it wouldn't budge. Thankfully the back door was unlocked, but for some reason I thought someone might have been in the house. I think being alone in there is making me squirrely. So Jake and I searched the house from top to bottom(we decided not to be alone in the house together EVER, but this situation called for some hero intervention), and even though there was obviously no one there, I decided to stay with one of the girls from school anyways. I know that God is with me, but there is just something about having other people around that I sense His presence more clearly.

I called my landlord, and he gave me the code for the garage door opener; I think I will wander over there before work so that I can eat some lunch.

I am sure some of you have seen my Facebook status about bellydancing. To reiterate, Jake and I went for a walk to see if I could find the dance studio. We did, but to my chagrin and even horror, I found out that the studio also does tarot reading and numerology, not to mention reiki(which is strange enough). I was dumbfounded for a moment, and my first response was to not go anywhere near the place. We talked about it for a bit, and thought maybe I could try it out at least once. However, I knew that if I stepped one foot in that building, I might be opening up a whole other door for evil to penetrate my life, not to mention the fact that I wouldn't enjoy the class as much as I would like. So I have decided to take it at the community centre where it will hopefully be less influenced by spiritualism.



Home Alone 5 ...

Well, thanks to all my very good friends, Missy, Rob, Nathaniel, Tricia, and Jake, I am moved in to my new place! It is even more beautiful than I remember! The only thing that I need to ask my landlord about is to get some screens in the sliding door and the kitchen window. There needs to be some air circulation upstairs!

The moving party was amazing. We only filled one and a half cars, but I felt really awful because I have a lot of stuff. However, most of what I own I have- I have only left a few boxes of my stuff at mom and dad's.

Nathaniel and Tricia made a delicious meal of ground beef sauce over mashed potatoes, and cooked snow peas and broccoli with butter. I know, your mouth is melting as you read this. So is mine! They stayed until 10:45pm, and then I was left alone. In that house.

It kind of freaked me out, but it was fun. I feel like a grown up now! And I want to take pride in my house, and keep it clean and everything. I can't wait for my roommates to move in.

Thursday is my last night of work at this tuxedo shop. It is very bittersweet, as I will miss working with these people, but I am very happy to be doing something else as well. I cannot wait to go to the library!



Goodbyes and Packing...

Only in hindsight do you realize the irony of things. You can spend a whole summer living with people, but it is only at the moment of their departure that you wish you had spent more time with them while they were here. That is how I am feeling right now. One of my roommates, Leanne, who graduated in May, left on Friday for her home in London, and the other, Christina, is moving to Calgary to spend four months there, then will be living in the Czech Republic for another four months. Both of these women are amazing, and I am pleased to have had the privelege of getting to know them. I will miss them so much, and I wish them all godspeed in the next stage of their lives!!!

Yesterday marked mine and Jake's third month of dating. We had Missy and Rob over, and we all, including Caitlyn, enjoyed a delicious spaghetti dinner! It was a lot of fun! Afterwards, Jake and I celebrated dating by watching a Bollywood movie he bought in Toronto two months ago, called Jodhaa Akbar. It was a very good movie, for Bollywood. It wasn't overly cheesy, and actually had a happy ending! I have been wanting to watch it for a long time, so it seemed appropriate. I like dating him :D

Today, after a week's worth of turmoil and prayer about my living and schooling situation, I feel at peace. I have decided to stay where I am, and to switch into a 3 year bachelor, in just a general degree. I would like to finish in my current program, but without going into a mountain of debt, or taking time off to save up money, I think this is the most sensible course of action to take. This way, I only have to take four more courses, and I will be finished. I am moving into a house walking distance from the campus, which I will be sharing with two other girls. Since I will only be taking two courses this semester, I need to find another job to help out with things, and to seriously save up some money.

I am not copping out on missions. I know that God has called me to go into missions, but not by means of debt. However, I am going to finish a degree because I believe that this will be something of a personal accomplishment, and commitment to God with the money that I do have saved up. I have never finished anything major in my life before, and I want to finish this. After, I don't know what God has planned. I want to get my TESOL certificate and teach English to people, or learn a spate of languages and communicate the love of God with others. Or both. I just want to use the gifts God has given me so that His name may be glorified!

I know that if this is not what God wants for my life, if I am going against His will, that He will open and shut doors as he sees fit.

Ah, now on to packing. What a dreadful bore. I am excited, though, because after my shift tomorrow, I am having lovely friends come over and help me move, and then we will hang out!!! This makes me very excited indeed!!! I hope some of you can come and see my house. It is exceptionally nice!

Just a shout out to all those people I have been stressing on lately, namely mom and dad, and Jake...I just want to thank you all for your care, support, and patience. Most of all, I want to thank you for your prayers!!! And Nana, thank you so much for your faithful comments, even though you don't have to write them. They are very encouraging, and make me want to write more often.

I also want to publicly thank my Lord and God, who, even though it may seem like He is messing with me, patiently teaches me and carries me through the mountains and valleys of life. It is to you alone I surrendered my life when I called upon your name and believed, and it is to You alone that I continue with my education in hopes of serving you here in school and in whatever ministries it is that you would have me serve you in! I love you LORD!!!

Love always,


The Nine hour shift....

Why did I agree to get up so early to go open the store this morning, all for some guys to take down the sign, and on my last Saturday shift too?

With a fuzzy head and a slight headache, I awoke this morning, and as I tried to convince myself that it is time to get up, I realized that I didn't have too much time to get ready.

Even now, I should be leaving for work, but my body won't function, and my body sinks into the couch, obvious disdain for early mornings...



I don't know much...

I have absolutely no clue what God is trying to teach me right now. Patience? Trust? Faithfulness?

Could be any number of those things. Could be all of them. Could be that He just wants me to learn that I am not in control. Never have been. Never will be.

I know I have people all around me who I can talk to, but no one has the answer. They are all supportive, but no one has the words.

Only God has the words to give. Even if it was through someone, that would be helpful. I don't know how he is going to show me his plan for my life, but I am waiting with bated breath. Waiting with tears running down my face. Waiting with outstretched arms for him to take away the fears of uncertainty, of doubt, of change.

I don't know much. Compared to God, I don't know anything at all.

But I can be comforted with that fact.

God knows everything.

And that is all I need to know.



Banana Muffins and a restless heart...

I have quite a few bananas that need to be eaten up. I bought them last week, and while they are not black yet, they are certainly far too gone to eat by themselves. I found an easy recipe online, and am looking forward to making them.

Yesterday I went to Zehrs three times in hopes of acquiring banana boxes for packing, but I seemed to miss it just before they crushed them all. I am now the proud owner of four boxes, waiting to be picked up. I decided to put in a request instead of chancing it each time. I am not really looking forward to packing. It is a sad time, and somewhat stressful. However, I decided that I am going to try to pack as lightly as I absolutely can, meaning seriously going through my things to decide what I will keep and what I will throw or give away. Yesterday I took some sweaters that I haven't been wearing to the used clothing bins across the road, which lightened my drawers substantially.

I was reading in Ruth today, just finishing up her marriage to that nice man Boaz, and headed on over to 1 Samuel. I was impressed with Hannah's faith and determination, despite the cruelty of her husband's other wife. She brought her barrenness before the Lord, and wept before Him, but made a vow that if he gave her a child she would give it to him. That is the ultimate in surrender! I have always thought it would be so hard to do, but as I think about it, she would be so grateful to have a child that she may have given it back as a blessing with joy in her heart. I am not quite sure. Whatever her emotions, God still blessed her with three more sons and two daughters, because of her faithfulness and surrender to him. It is stories like these that inspire me in pursuing faithfulness and trust in God.

I am excited, because in two more days it is mine and Jake's three month anniversary! It feels like longer than that, while at the same time I am still incredulous that we are dating! It makes me so happy, and thankful to God!



Water is Good...

I went home on the week-end, and had a great but challenging time with my family. This is one of those times when I wish I wasn't an adult, and that people would just make decisions for me.

I learned a lot in my devotions today, from Judges 20-21 if you can believe it. I learned that when the Israelites needed to know God's will there were a few things involved:

1.) They came before Him. They sought Him out. They didn't just sit back in their lazy boys and expect God to give them answers.
2.) They were humble. They openly wept before their God, which can sometimes be a humbling experience.
3.) They asked and inquired of God what His will was for them. How else could they have known if they did not ask?
4.) They were persistent, and prayed from morning until night. They did this not just once, but three times.
5.) They fasted, allowing God to speak to them without being distracted by food.
6.) They presented burnt offerings to him on behalf of their requests.

What do we need to do to ask God about His will?
1.)Be there-Seek His face
4.)Be persistent-don't give up on God
6.)Surrender-present ourselves as "living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is our spiritual act of worship" (Rom. 12:1)

Even though God didn't tell me what His will, for now I need to do these things.

Love, Ashleigh


Quiero Tu solo...

It is hard for me at times to put my thoughts into words. Even when I speak, there is a level of uncertainty that comes from a longing for people to understand me, knowing that my mouth does not always communicate with clarity. I think there is a desire in all of us to be understood. I know that it is easier for women to understand other women, because we know where all those emotions come from, and how they can be irrational yet completely rational at the same time. Men also understand men, and women, at times, can understand men. They seem to be so logical, so cut and dry, the problem solvers. It is the relationship between men and women that is so perplexing, the underlying tension when a woman tries to explain what she is feeling to a man. Oftentimes, she leaves him confused and frustrated at the unexpectedness of her outbursts, the fragility of her weaknesses, and the serenity of her happiness. It is highly doubtful that a man can truly understand her in every facet of her being.

I am blessed to be in a relationship where I am steered towards the One who understands me completely. No matter what happens in life, when it feels as if the carpet is being pulled out from under me, when all my feelings going down the drain, when I feel as if I am going to fall off the balance beam, God reaches for my hand and says, "I've got you."

I feel this reassurance every time I hear him say, "It's going to be ok", or "We'll get through this" or simply when he holds my hand.

I am blessed beyond belief to be in a relationship where I see clearly how God works, when He gives the words to say just at the moment I need them. Jake is never afraid of the truth, and he does not steer away from it. When I feel that no one will understand, when I am brought to my knees in the wake of my own feminity, God says, "It's going to be ok." Not only does He comfort me through His own words in the Bible, but also through the security and trust I feel when I am being hugged by my boyfriend.

This truly is a gift from God, and I find myself looking on in speechless wonderment, dependent on His incredible and undeserved grace.



Things are not as they may seem...

During my homework for one of my mission courses, I learned that God tends to speak to Muslims through dreams and visions, which then usually leads them to conversion to Christianity. I was pondering that, trying to think about why God would choose to speak to them specifically in that way. I was talking about it with my prof, and perhaps it's just that they are more open to that than some people. I know that there are many of us who have dreams, and sometimes they are weird, but other times they seem to have meaning and significance of some sort. I think it is so neat that God can use dreams to draw people closer to him, so that they will want to seek after him.

I was also thinking about persecution, and about how it can make people stronger. It isn't that we have to go looking for it to actually have more faith. I guess it just depends on what situation we are in and how God calls us to react. For instance, if I was in a country where they told me not to speak about God, I could obey them, but only do it in hiding; or I could disobey them, and continue speaking about God freely, trusting that it will bring glory to His name, especially through my own persecution. There is a verse, Psalm 116:15, which says, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." Perhaps I am taking it out of context, but I looked at the verses before and after and it did not seem to make sense with either ones. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that whatever we do, whether we live or die for Christ, we are bringing glory to God. That is the heart of the matter.

Another thing I was thinking about is this:
what is our commitment to God as compared to other religions?
This is something I have to remind myself of often, especially when I am learning about Islam, where they pray five times a day. I know this is legalistic in a sense, and God does not have said "rules" for us to follow, per se, however, he does say pray without ceasing(1 Thess. 5:17). Are we commited to prayer, to fasting, to meditation of us word, and other spiritual disciplines, such as tithing, and solitude? He says, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Ps. 46:10). When do we stop and think about all that He has done, contemplate just who God is? People from other religions can put us to shame sometimes, with their dedication. This isn't about comparison, though. This is about you and God. Your relationship. And it's about you and God and the body of Christ. How do we relate to other Christians? Do we let them encourage us, and pray for us, do we encourage and support them? Do we rebuke them when they are doing wrong things like we are supposed to? How committed are we?



Lanacane and Chocolate Covered Cranberries...

Yesterday as I was going to go out of my mind crazy like I have been for the past couple of days, I went to Zehrs in hopes to find a strong substance with which to give my feet a blessed break from the painful itching. I ran into a lady I know who works there, and she suggested that I try Lanacane instead of After Bite. I was hesitant, but bought it anyways, even though it is quite a bit more expensive. I put it on my feet, and had relief, not just for the moment, but for quite literally HOURS afterwards. I feel like I could do a testimonial for their company, I am so impressed.

Caitlyn bought chocolate covered Cranberries, and I think they are the most delicious thing ever. Even more than chocolate covered raisins, which I am usually very fond of.

I have been given so many things to think about lately, and it is somewhat overwhelming. I am not much of a thinker for things that matter, so it's a little bit hard at times, but I am excited for how God is stretching me and my mind.

Last night was fun, as we went out for dinner to celebrate Nathaniel's birthday. It was great to get together with friends and laugh and eat and share food. I enjoyed it :)



Where the heart is...

The Plan:

1.) Go to work
2.) Work work work
3.) Finish work
4.) Go to Nathaniel's birthday party
5.) Eat eat eat
6.) Come home
7.) Putter
8.) Dream of sleep............

So, that's the plan is it? Well I like it!!!



A million mosquito bites...

I am running on maybe 7 hours sleep in the past 2 days, due to the very real fact that my mosquito bites make it very difficult to get some good shut-eye. I never said I liked them, but I am starting to see how God uses the mundane and annoying things in life to draw us closer to Him.

When you can't sleep at night, you start to do things you wouldn't normally do, like take time to listen to sermons (maybe for some of you that is part of your daily routine, and I commend you!). The one I chose was on prayer, and the pastor(Mark Driscoll) did an excellent job with it. I took notes while I was listening, and I am very encouraged to pray! His sermon was outlining how we can pattern our prayer after the way Jesus prayed.

I was just sitting there, slightly annoyed at how early I was up, when all of a sudden I realized, "Hey, there is a purpose in this; when I don't take time to spend focusing on God, sometimes He does things to get our attention, and He does it in the most unpredictable of ways!"

It was neat, because I couldn't get to sleep at all in the first place. I decided to be proactive, and soaked my feet in chammomile tea. It worked, and I felt sleepy, and fell asleep on the couch for two hours. When I moved to my bed, the effects of the soaking lasted for only two hours after that. However, I did get four hours sleep, which I am so grateful for, as it is definitely better than nothing.

I am just grateful for the way God grabbed my attention, and said, "Hey! I want to spend some time with you! I need to tell you some things that you need to hear!"

Sometimes a million mosquito bites can prove to be less annoying than one would think...



When love takes over...

I am listening to a techno song called "when love takes over". It's SOOOO good, and I can't stop replaying it!!

Last night Jake and I went on a date down by the river, and I got mosquito bites all over my feet again! You would think i would have learned from the last time. I am not all that upset- they are worth every moment that I spent with him!

It was the best day ever at work. We were quite steady, and we made so much money! The day went by fast, and I was so happy!

I hung out with Missy tonight, kept her company because she was feeling lonely. That's the best part about having friends, they are always there for you when you need them!



Whining? No me likey...

It doesn't happen very often, but today I feel like whining. And complaining. And anything else you can think of to make my life feel more miserable.
That's the worst part. It isn't miserable, and I know that. Just today I woke up feeling unrested, and then have felt very "not myself" for the rest of the day. It's just one of those things women go through sometimes, and only women understand. How unfortunate.

However, I am resolved to not let this mood take over. I am in control of the situation, I must CHOOSE joy, even when I don't feel like it at the time.

Tomorrow I am going to work with my manager. It will be strange to work a Saturday with only 2 people, but hopefully that means the day might go by faster.

I should go, going on a date with Jake tonight :D At least it's a nice night for a walk.



We're so far away...

This is officially my 300th post on this blog since March of 2006. That may not seem like many after more than 3 years of writing blogs here, but it's still something worth celebrating. I have really enjoyed sharing some thoughts, and there is something singularly satisfying about seeing one of my blogs post, knowing that at least ONE person will read it and comment. It's not that my life is particularly interesting, but somehow I just enjoy sharing. The interesting part is that I not only write blogs some days, but also write in my journal..... I have a lot to say and think about.

I have been reading in Judges lately during my devotions. This morning I was reading about Gideon and how God called a simple man to do his work in saving Israel from the Midianites. It was incredible how even in ancient Bible times people did the same things we do now. Gideon was complaining to God about how weak he was, and how he couldn't do anything, even when God had JUST finished saying that he would be right there with him. I know I often call myself weak in the face of things I cannot accomplish. But if God can promise to be with someone like Gideon, I am no different!

Nana sent me this in an e-mail, and I decided to post it here today:

21 Reasons Why You Are Blessed!

1. If you own a Bible, you are abundantly blessed – about 1/3 of the world does not have access to one.

2. If you wake up each morning with more health than illness, you are blessed to rise and shine, to live and to serve in a new day.

3. If you have anyone on the planet, just one person that loves you and listens to you; count this a blessing.

4. If you can freely attend a church meeting without fear, then you are more blessed than over 1/3 of the world.

5. If you have a yearning in your heart to parent a child, you are blessed because you still desire what you cannot see.

6. If you pray today or any day, you are blessed because you believe in God’s willingness to hear your prayer.

7. If you pray for someone else, you are blessed because you want to help others also.

8. If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head, and a place to sleep; all at the same time; you are rich in this world.

9. If you have a brother or sister in Christ that will pray with you and for you, you benefit from a spiritual unity, bond, and agreement, which the gates of hell cannot stand against.

10. If you have any earthly family that even halfway loves you and support you, you are blessed beyond measure.

11. If you attend a church with a church family that offers you one word of encouragement, you are blessed with some form of fellowship.

12. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, or some spare change in a dish someplace you are among the world’s wealthy.

13. If you can go to bed each night, knowing that God loves you, you are blessed beyond measure.

14. If you try each day to imitate our Lord Jesus Christ for even a minute, you are blessed because you show a willingness to grow up in Him.

15. If you can read this message, you are more blessed than about 2/3 of the world.

16. If you have never had to endure the hardship and agony of battle, imprisonment, or torture, you are blessed in indescribable measure.

17. If you have a voice to sing His praises, a voice to witness God’s love, and a voice to share the gospel, you are blessed. About 1/3 of the world does not even know who the one true God is.

18. If you can hold someone’s hand, hug another person, touch someone on the shoulder, you are blessed because you can offer God’s healing touch.

19. If you can share a word of encouragement with someone else, and do it with His love in your heart, you are blessed because you have learned how to give.

20. If you have the conviction to stand fast upon His Word and His promises, no matter what, you are blessed because you are learning patience, endurance, and tenacity.

21. If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because most people can, but won’t.

It looks like another beautiful day today, and I hope you can all enjoy it.