Leaning on Him

Monday, December 26, 2011

This Christmas hasn’t particularly been what I’ve envisioned it to be. I’ve gotten the best gifts, being home back in Iowa and being able to see my husband in ministry and be a part of it. But coming home hasn’t been easy. Shortly after returning home we found out that Grandma’s kidneys are failing and so she doesn’t feel pain, they have increased her pain medication. She slept right through Christmas and when asked about it the next day, didn’t remember anything. Grandma has taken a main role in raising me and my siblings, and experiencing these changes that are taking place with her is more than I can bear sometimes. I miss my friend. I miss her sweet reassurance after a night mare. I miss having her around. Lately I’ve thought, “if only Grandma was here, she could see this…or she’d be proud of me for this…or she’d really enjoy watching this with me.” I don’t mean to speak of her as if she’s passed, but I know it’s something that will happen. I have no doubt that she will be with Jesus celebrating when she does pass, but for such a long time she’s been a huge part of my life. Many times I’ve woken up with nightmares that she had passed and I couldn’t do anything about it…it’s a suffocating feeling. One I’m sure my family experienced when they lost my Grandma Zeola. The 23rd was twenty-three years she’s been gone. It’s a frustrating feeling knowing you’ve been compared to someone, and you never got the chance to know them. I‘ve often wondered lately what would my relationship with her be like today if she were alive? Would I be taking cooking advice from her? Would we be close? What was she like?
I’m normally one for the Christmas spirit, and annoy Kyle with my zeal for the holiday season, but as I sit in our new home, my heart hurts.

When I was a little girl I dreamed about growing up and the man that I would marry-all the wonderful things of being an adult. This wasn’t something I envisioned. I’m thankful for where God has brought me, a godly husband and wonderful ministry, but as I’ve transitioned into adulthood, it’s hard to let go of relationships as they were. It’s hard seeing Grandma in a wheel chair not able to be awake with us during Christmas, when for so many years she was the strong one who read the Christmas story.

As I cherish my memories of her, and accept the transitions in life, I lean wholly on God and thank Him for the gift of his Son, Jesus Christ-the reason for the season. I pray this peace also for my family who had to experience the loss of my Grandma Zeola, 23 years ago. I also pray this for anyone whose heart is hurting this Christmas. May you see the glory of Christ through this new year. God bless you and keep you.

Pastor's Wife

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Pastor's Wife. A new title, and one that I'm overjoyed to be known as now. I don't know what God has in store for Kyle and I, but I know what the (almost) three years has held for us here. When we came here in January of 2009 I was angry because of what happened with Vennard, and unsure of what was to come. I was devastated at the idea of leaving Iowa and my family. Well...it's been almost three years here, and I've made it! Going to Oklahoma Wesleyan was a new experience, and while it ended up not being something that worked out for me, it has opened doors for Kyle and I. It opened the door up to Spencer Management (a janitorial service company) where Kyle and I started working as soon as we moved here. Through that, Kyle has seen the company make a move and gotten to experience life as a supervisor and because of that, meet and witness to co-workers, who have become saved and become very good friends of ours. Coming down here has given me an opportunity to get closer to a very good friend of mine, and someone who I consider to probably be my best friend (aside from Kyle of course). She stood up with me at my wedding and encouraged me all the while. Because of OKWU, we were blessed with being able to get married (which is the biggest thing that has happened since we've been here!!). I've experienced things like VOM Conferences and Taste of Home Cooking Shows, and ice skating for the first time. We got to take a spring break trip to Texas (somewhere I had never been before) and see the ocean. I got to see my husband accomplish his B.S. in Pastoral Ministries and start seminary with Liberty University. We got to add two wonderful energetic dogs to our family, Ginger & Bella. I started my own journey with Liberty in finishing my degree. We've been blessed to get to see how God is working through the Penn's & Jessie & Jake since Vennard, and have them as close friends. Through different instances, we've experienced The Holy Spirit's pull in our lives, as well as God shutting doors just to open new ones. I've experienced apathy and learning patience. I got to see my husband being used by God to touch the lives of others and because of that, get to baptize a close friend and his brother. I've gotten to see sides of myself that I'm not too proud of, and am pushing to change. I've learned that God is still here, despite how much I've hurt. I've learned to reach out. I've learned new ways in which to be there for Kyle. I've learned that I can be really prideful and am trying to be a better steward of that. Among other things. I've learned how deeply I love my husband, and was blessed by what God has entrusted me with. ***So many more experiences***

When we moved into this apartment, I told Jessie it was "cozy," and she said it was a good way of looking at it. Now as I sit here amongst totes and boxes of our stuff, it's hard to realize another new chapter of our lives is taking part. That we are leaving our first "married home." At times I felt like I would never get out of here, but now it's just surreal I guess. I pray that this new chapter of our lives is totally and utterly led by God and that we make just as many new friendships.

To our friends who've been right there with us and the new ones we've made-you've always got a place to come stay with us. We love you and always want to be a part of your lives. We don't see this as goodbye, but a beginning. We can't wait to share all of our new experiences!

You Shoulda' Seen It In Black & White

Monday, August 8, 2011


Since Boarders is going out of business, Kyle and I have been buying a few books. One of the last books I bought is "The Great LIFE Photographers," which is the massive book of LIFE photographers and some of their prints. Not only is it a great coffee table book, but the photo's (and stories behind them) are amazing. I don't claim to be a great photographer, or even own a great camera...but I am lover of photography. I believe that the most amazing photo's are going to be the essence of what your trying to capture. That is what I try to capture with my photos. The smiles, the tears and just everyday life. I'd like to share some of the photo's that are in this book.

I was amazed to find one of the first photos of small town life, captured perfectly. In 1945, Myron Davis captured Larry Jim Holm (12 years old) walk along a rail road track with his dog, Dunk. Where at? Oskaloosa Iowa. *sigh* This is the kind of photo that speaks home, that stirs up feelings of nostalgia.

Another of my favs is one of the most iconic photo's ever taken. New York City, 1945, the exicitement of V-J Day is all about. Running about, a Navy serviceman grabs a nurse and kisses her as Alred Elsentaedt captures the moment. The caption reads, "There were thousands of people milling around, in side streets and everywhere. Everybody was kissing each other...And there was also a Navy man running, grabbing anybody, you know, kissing. I ran ahead of him because I had Leica cameras around my neck, focused from 10 feet to infinity. you only had to shoot....I didn't even know what was going on, until he grabbed something in white. And I stood there, and they kissed. And I snapped five times."

Another was shot by Allan Grant; of Yolanda and Marshall Jacobs, after being married atop a flagpole in Coshocton Ohio, 1946. Simply breathtaking.

Finally Lennart Nilsson's photo's of the beginning of life. The caption reads, "He began to explore the secrets of life when he was five years old, as an avid collector of flower and plant specimens. by the age of 12 he was taking pictures of them, and three years later his photographic series Nature of the Farm ran in a leading Swedish magazine. As an adult, he became quite well known for his landscape and portrait work. Then in 1951, Nilsson saw a row of tiny bottles in a lab, each containing a two month old fetus. "I had no idea the embryo was so mature so early. In that same second I knew I would concentrate on the early development of the human." When LIFE published a long cover story in 1965, "Drama of Life Before Birth," Nilsson burst into fame, and the piece which the photographer said was a dozen years in the making, became one of LIFE's most celebrated articles. Over the years, says Nilsson, he has been asked countless times, When does life begin? His response: "Maybe the first moment of human life, it starts with a kiss."

I hope to be able to tell such stories with the photo's I take.

Hope you've enjoyed this post. Love all.


Monday, July 4, 2011


My first class reunion was acouple of days ago, and while I wasn't able to go, I've been doing alot of reflecting on it lately. Especially on the person I was when I graduated and who I am now. When I graduated highschool, I was a very lost person making horrible choices. I was dealing with loosing the only home I'd ever known. It was then that God decided to start some amazing works. He led to two wonderful people, Jack and Donna. They filled alot of holes I had in my heart. They helped me to realize that I was more than the mistakes that I had made. That I could have a bright and beautiful future. As we are now on Independence Day, I've been thinking alot too about freedom. God brought me to Vennard and put people in my life like Mrs. Doll. She taught me that while I had been a victim of sexual abuse, I didn't have to stay a victim my whole life. That piece of knowledge has been key in my everyday life since. While a part of me still grieves the loss of my childhood home, of Vennard, of the person who I used to be and what has happened to me, an even bigger part celebrates the FREEDOM that which God has brought me. He has given me the freedom to want to be a good wife to Kyle. The freedom to want better for my children than the mistakes of those before me. The freedom to choose HIM. As I reflect on the past five years, I sincerely hope that those who knew me then and know me now, have seen the amazing change in my life, and the hope that I have. That Christ is the head of it all. Through my studies, I have befriended a woman who God is using to start an amazing work. She emailed me this morning, and one sentence really caught my attention. "FREEDOM has soo many meanings in our lives!!"

So, as you celebrate today, what freedoms are you celebrating?

You are for me

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I know that you are for me. You love me with an all consuming love that is never failing. In my moments when I am all too human, your grace touches down and surrounds. In the times that I feel alone, the times I have felt violated, you speak a word of reassurance, a word of hope. Your plans for me are greater than my moments of weakness. Your patience with me supersedes the depths of sin. You are great my Lord, all encompassing beauty. I know that you are for me. You refuse to leave me where you found me; placing my feet on a firm foundation, you are the Ultimate Encourager. You see me, my movements and thoughts. You know my heart. You create everything that is good within me. In my darkest moments, I am reminded of your greatness. You are powerful and just, making way for your children. Lord, we sing of you, we love you. You ARE the Ultimate Protector and Avenger. I rest in YOU. I trust in YOU. YOU direct my paths. Nothing that has happened is by mistake, for it has all been inspired by you for good. Everything for YOUR glory.


Friday, April 29, 2011


It's been awhile since I've written anything, so I thought I'd take the time to say hey. Hey.

April has been a busy month. It has marked one year since we lost Grandma Florence, and that has been hard on Kyle. But we get to reflect on the service and how truly she was a godly woman. Truly a life to be celebrated. Then came my birthday and Kyle took me shopping (and I got to steal some time alone with my husband<3)! As long days of school and work have wore on I am now rejoicing in my husband's 24th birthday. Thankful that God created him and found him to a suitable partner for me. Although, I must say-Kyle's idea of celebrating and mine are a bit different. All he wants to do is stay in bed and watch tv-relax. Not me! I love celebrating by going to see a movie or out to dinner! So, to say the least it's been different for me. I made him a cake that didn't turn out so well...my heart kinda sunk when I realized it didn't. But Kyle was grateful-bless his soul! The 24th brought my grandmothers birthday, and while I was sad I couldn't be with her to celebrate, I did call her. She was *VERY* excited about all the cake she got!

As April gives way to May, I look forward to a friends wedding, a weekend spent with another friend, more birthday's and the end of my current classes. A lot to celebrate!

Speaking of celebrating, I've been reading "Found: God's Will," by John MacArthur, and he makes a point in there I find interesting. It's a book that I had to have for one class, and now have to read it again for my current pastoral class. It's a short little read with great points.

MacArthur writes,
"What does it mean to be Spirit-filled? Let me give you a short theology lesson. We will call it theology of the Spirit filled life. When you were saved, the moment you received Jesus Chris, the Holy Spirit came to live within you There is no Christian who does not possess the Holy Spirit, "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His," (Romans 8:9 cf. 1 Corinthians 6:19; 12:12-13). Yet its is amazing how many Christians think they do not have the Holy Spirit. I have sat in church and heard sincere people pray, "O, God, send Your Spirit," and have thought to myself, No, He is here. He is here!I have heard people pray, "God give me more of your Spirit," as if He came in doses. The Holy Spirit is a person; He lives within you. "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost?" (1 Corinthians 6:19) So many times we ask for what we already have! We pray for the Holy Spirit and He is already here."

I reflect on this point both in my own life, and in what I see in others. I believe that MacArthur has a valid point, but I also see that as humans we need to be reminded of things. We need to come back to Scripture and remind ourselves of what God has already promised us, and what He has called us to. A faithful, confident people. Going through this process of waiting for God's calling on our lives is so very exhausting. Seeing Kyle fill out applications and get rejected (or not even answered to is draining. Especially when I know his yearning to help others. So I reflect on this promise:
"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you." (2 Corinthians 4:8-12).

Then I am reminded of the hatred of the world, and of my own shortcomings. We recently noticed someone on Facebook who (professes Christianity) outright attacking a group of people in the political context. Friends, are we not to be stewards of our tongues? Aren't our words what not only builds up others, but also builds our witness? I am reminded of Ephesians 4, but specifically vs. 29-"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

Friends, this is a time for celebrating! Not only do we have the promises of God, but we have instruction! We have direction!

I pray this encourages you today, that you see the beauty of God in your life today.

Radiance, Obedience, Reverence

Friday, February 11, 2011


Ahh! God, these people here are ridiculous! They would rather watch you struggle in the snow then help you out, box you in at the grocery store rather than let you by and talk behind your back than be honest with you! Lord, I am just so fed up! I hate it here-I want to move and I feel like we should already be in ministry. I feel like we are waiting, and have been for 2 years now. I'm so sick of Oklahoma!

***This is just some of my daily rantings, put nicely***And God has called my attention to it. Specifically to my attitude, my lack of obedience, and my tendency to complain.***

I want to share with you some verses that I read today and then a lesson God has used on me this week for Obedience.

"Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame." Psalm 34:3-5
I want to be known as a woman with whom radiance flows! How beautiful is that?! I want to be know as a woman who SEEKS the Lord FIRST. I read this and see how much God has been there for me. There are so many fears that He has taken away, and many holes that he has filled in my life-The least I can do as His creation is to SEEK Him.

"By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.He gathers the waters of the sea into jars, he puts the deep into storehouses.Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke and it came to be; he commanded and it stood firm." Psalm 33:6-9

Simply Beautiful.

I want to be a radiant woman of God who has reverence for God. Who finally has obedience and finds HIS blessings for my life, not what I think blessings should be.


God's been laying it on my heart lately to reflect on my obedience to Him. I've made it quite known that I don't like being here, and I always find something to complain about. Which is why the following sermon that I listened to the other day was that much more humbling. This is a sermon by Charles Stanley, and you can find it on his website, but here are the sermon notes.

Obedience Always Brings Blessing

Charles F. Stanley

Memory Verse: Psalm 24:1-5
I. Introduction: I define a blessing as any expression of God’s goodness and love toward us. Answered prayer, miraculous provision, and unexpected favor are some examples. We easily recognize these as God’s gifts. But sometimes He chooses to bless us in different ways. For instance, He grants us strength and joy in the midst of hardship, and He uses our suffering to help us mature spiritually.

When we obey God, we can trust that He will display His goodness and love to us. Those who are wise will watch for His blessings in all their different forms.

II. Biblical Examples

A. Noah’s obedience saved his family from the flood.

B. Abraham’s obedience resulted in his becoming the father of a great nation, God’s chosen people, Israel.

C. Moses led the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage.

D. Joshua won the battle of Jericho by following God’s supernatural strategy.

E. David refused to harm Saul, the anointed king.

F. Jehoshaphat relied on God’s word when the Ammonites attacked Judah.

G. Peter obeyed Jesus’ command to fish in the heat of day.

H. Paul followed God’s will and took the gospel to the Gentiles.

III. Types of Blessing

God’s gifts aren’t always obvious. But when you obey Him, He may bless you with:

A. Peace, joy, and contentment. These internal qualities often result when we step out in faith and obey God.

B. Spiritual growth. We will have more faith to obey the next time God challenges us to do something.

C. Eternal blessings. When we stand before God on judgment day, we will be rewarded for our obedience (see Mark 9:41; Luke 6:21-23).

IV. Suffering Before Blessing

Often, the first effect of obedience is not blessing, but suffering. Sometimes, what God requires of us will initially lead to pain and sadness. We shouldn’t assume that difficulty means we’ve made a mistake or that He has abandoned us. Let’s look at two significant examples of suffering as an initial result of obedience:

A. Moses followed God’s command to lead His people out of Egypt. Not only did the leader experience difficulty in freeing the Israelites from bondage; the people also complained bitterly about life in the dessert once they were released. Despite these and other challenges, Moses is known as the most important leader in the Old Testament.

B. Paul obeyed God by preaching the gospel. As a result, he suffered tremendous persecution, danger, and physical abuse (2 Cor. 11:23-27). However, because he was imprisoned, the apostle had time to write his epistles to the Colossians, Philippians, Ephesians, and Philemon. His obedience resulted in supernatural blessing (see 2 Tim. 4:7).

V. God’s Purposes for Our Suffering

A. To bring us to the end of ourselves. We become most useful to the Lord when we rely on Him completely. If we respond correctly to loss and suffering, we will find blessing through it.

B. To prevent pride. Suffering reminds us that all good things are gifts from God and not earned by our own efforts.

C. To remove idols from our lives. Worshipping anything other than God is a problem. He causes all things to work together for our good (Rom. 8:28). So if He removes a good thing from our lives, He must have a purpose, even if we can’t see it at the time.

D. To deepen our understanding of His ways. When God does something and we aren’t sure why, we can anticipate learning something new about how He operates.

E. To demonstrate His faithfulness to His children. In suffering, you and I have the opportunity to become living examples of the goodness of God. As others watch how we respond to overwhelming adversity, they recognize His loving care.

VI. Conclusion:

If you obey God, can you expect His blessings? Yes. But remember that His choice of blessing may be different from yours. Perhaps He will use suffering to draw you closer to Himself. Or He may use it to remove from your life those things that hinder fruitfulness for Him. No matter what, if you walk in His will, He will bless you in surprising ways.

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