Saturday, March 26, 2011

2:30 a.m.

It's been a while!

My blog template died a while back, and I never got around to fixing it-- until now! :)

Wow, it's amazing how many pizzas come through that door at 2:30 a.m.... haha. I'm working at the front desk of a dorm. Man, that makes me super hungry. WOW PIZZA. Ok. I want to share a couple things with you.'s so great to be writing again.

First! I saw BGSU's production of "A Little Night Music" last night. It was hilarious and heartbreaking and sentimental. I left feeling like a certain single part of my being was inflamed and had started its own rhythm. "Send In the Clowns" made me cry like a small child. Man. And great new and seasoned talent. Beautiful voices, great acting, flowing choreography... I was just very impressed. Bravo, cast and crew. Bravo.

Second. World Water Week just finished up here at BGSU. It would take a lot more time and brain power for me to actually articulate everything that went on in my mind as a result of this past week, but I'll give ya what I got. Cassy and I decided to team up and take part in being "villagers" for the week- which meant getting ALL of our water for cooking and washing from one hose in the middle of campus. We were given a large bucket, which we filled up with water from that hose and had to wheel on my longboard back to my car because it was so heavy. We were laughing the whole time because it was utterly ridiculous and I looked like a penguin as I waddled behind it, trying to push it. But in the back of my mind (and I'm sure Cassy's, too), I began to reflect on the true hardship of it. This is reality for people. How lucky were we to even get CLEAN water to take back with us? 4,200 people die every day because of the lack of clean water. This unsanitary water is taken from a well miles from their homes, and carried back in buckets like the ones we used. I started to be able to fathom. Just barely. My eyes were opened continuously at how much we take for granted. Our water started to get dirty during the week and we had no time to go get some more. So one night, I decided to try to boil some that was in our bucket. It took me 45 minutes to wash my entire body and my hair. It was during that time, in the quietness of our house, that my heart yearned for healing and restoration for the people and lands that are subjected to limited, unsanitary water. I felt their hearts that night. I felt enslaved by the lack of clean water at my access.

Take a moment and check it out--look up some articles, or some videos. The reality is there, and you can do something about it. We all can.

Third. And this is just a thought. I've been noticing that a lot of people have been feeling unnaturally overwhelmed and weighed down lately. I want to encourage you. I'm not going to say that "everything's going to be fine"; that you "shouldn't worry." I want to tell you that I, and those that truly love you, want to walk through it with you. I don't want you to feel like you have to face it alone. I'm feeling some weight myself, and let me tell you: the softest light that shone on my face came from those that vowed to walk beside me and not condemn me. I believe that is truly irreplaceable, and that it's a piece of God's character. Lets walk, arms swinging and touching. Lets stumble over rocks and crevaces in the ground, and be crutches for each other. This is the tough part of love. It's not aesthetically pleasing, and its not immediately fruitful. This is the kind of love that heals someone from the roots. It is slow and it is raw. But my friends, the foundation that is built is a strong, impenetrable thing.

That's all I have time for tonight. Time for me to go home and sleep. Blessings in your week. I pray that your Sunday is restful.



Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 25!

Day 25 of The Dress for The Daughters! You guys. This is exciting.

More and more people are starting to hear about this. Amy Seiffert just got a T.V. interview on Fox News about wearing her dress for six months. That means thousands and thousands will hear about The Daughter Project at 10 p.m. tonight. Thousands and thousands will hear more about the horrendous crime of sex trafficking. And hopefully thousands and thousands will be inspired to DO SOMETHING.

God is really doin' some work around here. I'm also excited to share about G.A.P. (God Answers Prayer). It's a seminar that's happening on February 19th to unite the Greater Toledo Area in prayer. My good friend and mentor, Pastor Tim Bickel, has been working with other pastors in the Toledo Area to prepare for this, and I can't help but share his enthusiasm! Here's a link to the facebook page: G.A.P. (God Answers Prayer)

As for wearing the dress for 25 days in a row, well, I've become indifferent to the amount of effort I put into looking "cute." Haha. I think the hard part is just the monotony. But it's well worth it. I've been able to communicate with a lot of people about why I'm doing this, and everyone I've shared with has been very supportive. Thanks for the encouragement, friends :).

That's all I've got for now. I have a lot of homework to catch up on. Blessings in your week.

(Thanks to Christie for the skirt! The dress is under there, I promise!)


Saturday, February 5, 2011

"I Prayed For More"

This blog is inspired by my good friend, Nate Weisel. He's a brother I met on summer project this summer in Virginia Beach. He talks about asking for more from God. More responsibility. More empowerment. This is what he says God said to him in response:

"I want to give you more! BUT do you really want more? Are you ready for what more looks like? Have you been faithful with what I have given you already? Are you just asking for more because you know you should?"

I struggle with this sometimes, and especially recently. How many times do we ask for more from God with an expectation to recieve it because we have "proven ourselves"? How many times do we walk in our own pathetic power and superficial wisdom to try and impress other people? Why do we rely so much on our own abilities to plan the future- when it almost always never goes like we planned? It's almost humorous.

Sometimes I don't understand why He doesn't give me bigger and better things to work on and lead. But then I realize that I haven't invested myself fully in the small, but great things that He has already given me. It's such a humbling thing, you guys. I have cried about it. I have screamed out in anger at Him (most definitely, and even recently) because of my lack of understanding. But it is in those moments that I truly grow closer to Him. And I learn an abundance about His love and grace.

Be encouraged, my fellow seafaring souls. Sometimes the adventure is closer than you think. It's in the wind that you run past as you're trying to make it to the next crazy thing. All you have to do is stop-- even for a second-- and just feel it whip past your face.

"...let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful."
-Hebrews 10:22-23



P.S. Here's somethin' great... I wanted to share this picture of my mentors / friends / 2nd parents. This is Pam and Tim Bickel. They love each other, a lot. You can see it in this picture. And I have seen it in real life. It's just refreshing and lovely to see. And I'm inspired by it :).

Friday, January 21, 2011

The First Week

Unfortunately, this post will have to be fairly short. I'm in the process of cleaning the house up a bit for the lovely ladies who are coming over tonight :). Tonight is Women's night! We're talking about the vital importance of women in the body of Christ, in relation to Amy's talk on beauty. I am sooo excited about this. Too many women don't know their worth. Too many women don't know how stunning they really are. I struggle with it sometimes, myself. But the truth is that we women have beauty unrivaled. Isn't that what we're fighting for, with organizations like The Daughter Project? Steve talked at CRU last night about every type of sin all coming back to some form of stealing. Whether or not we are physically TAKEN from, like those women who are trapped in sexual trafficking, we are all subject to losing sight of our true value because of how readily the world steals it from us in exchange for filling us with a picture of what we "SHOULD" be. We all struggle with feeling incapable. Unreachable. Ugly.

Constantly being amidst a media that demands a certain kind of physical beauty and a world that demands a certain kind of personality for success certainly puts the pressure on, and hikes up the chances of feeling less than capable.

But I write to tell you that you are beautiful. You ARE. Tonight, we celebrate our beauty that SPEAKS. It speaks truth and rest; it speaks love.

For the daughters.

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4 (Thanks to Cass for lending me the skirt!)

Day 5

Day 6 (we snagged Amy at CRU! All these ladies are doing the one dress campaign for a month!)

Day 7

May the Lord bless you and keep you. An encouragement to those who are praying for the women trapped in sexual trafficking and abuse: the Lord knows who you are praying for. Keep praying for the nameless faces. He loves them.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

One Dress

Good snowy afternoon to you all!

This is the first day of the "One Dress" campaign that me and a few friends are doing for a month. We are joining Amy Seiffert in this, who is actually wearing one dress every day for 6 months! Check her out!

Fact: The U.S Government estimates that nearly 30,000,000 people worldwide are suffering from human trafficking. (

We wear the same dress every day to promote awareness of human trafficking and encourage people to donate to The Daughter Project. Here's a little blurb of what TDP is all about:

To help girls recover from the trauma of human sex trafficking and to help prevent them from being trafficked through community education. The foundation of this help will be Godly, biblical and holistic.

God is the creator of everything. God is the redeemer of His creation through His son, Jesus Christ. God indwells believers to transform them into His agents of redemption on the earth through His Holy Spirit. The Bible is Jesus Christ in written form. We will strive to operate our organization in a way that reflects His life of perfection and grace, for His glory and for the redemption of the girls we serve in love.

To provide holistic healing services in an extremely safe, home-like environment to girls who have been freed from human sex trafficking. The services will include; spiritual mentoring, abuse & addiction counseling, health & nutrition education, medical/dental/vision care, legal counsel, and family/friend restoration. This help will be provided by caring & competent professionals & volunteers. In addition, we will offer education, job and housing assistance.

Will you consider donating today?

We believe in freedom. Freedom and love above all things- through Christ who strengthens us.

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength , they will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." -Isaiah 40:31

Here it is...for the next month!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Late Night Thoughts from a Grandma.

Helleeewww. Yes, I consider myself a Grandma. Or at least old enough to be one...when it comes to how early I usually get tired. It's 1:45 a.m. and I am SO ready to collapse (about 4 hours ago), but this is usually when my best thoughts come out. Plus I'm trapped at the front desk in Kriescher. So here I am, it is late, and I have some thoughts for you.

I came into the semester today feeling completely unprepared mentally, but coming to grips spiritually with the truth that I don't NEED to be as prepared as I want to be (i.e. LOSE THE NEED TO CONTROL LIFE!). I want to encourage you, friends. I'm not going to sit here and tell you to give up the control. Because I know we all want it, in some way or another. But I do want to encourage you with truth.

"For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? This God is my strong refuge and has made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights."
-2 Samuel 22:32-34

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea..."
-Psalms 46:1-2

"But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city."
-Hebrews 11:16

"For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power."
-1 Corinthians 4:20

"God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful."
-1 Corinthians 1:9

"...this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever."
-Psalms 48:14

Friends, drink up this sweet nectar. Keep these words and share them; let them be the wind that carries your ship over the seas. Today was a mess of emotions for me. Insignificance, confusion, determination, joy, protectiveness, frustration, hopelessness, and irritation all bugged my thoughts and heart today. I was thinking about India (ALWAYS thinking about India) and where God is leading me in my future in general, plagued by incapabilities in the dance program, let myself become insecure about certain relationships, and ran from class to class in a hurry, worrying about the semester to come- just to name a few. I let the day fly by, by trying to control it. But I was missing it. "God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city." Even in our brokenness, He sees us with eyes that we will never understand fully. Why do I care so much about saying the right things or walking at the right pace or planning out my next actions? Planning and organizing are glorifying to Him in the sense that we are called to be good stewards of the time and resources given to us. But it when those things become lords over The Lord, that we begin to feel how unfilled we really are.

Blessings on this week, friends. Find joy, rest and peace in the One who will really fill you.

"We will run to you, we will run to you.
Turning from our sin, we return to you.
Father, heal Your world, make all things new.
Make all things new."

P.S. My brother and good friend, Jon Stoddart, sent me something called "The Sound Mind Principle." It's the Paul Brown letter written to help guide into scripture for tough decisions and paths that need light. I thought I'd share it with y'all:


Friday, December 3, 2010

Thoughts for the Holiday Season

I'm inspired to write. I want to keep sharing. I want to stay motivated to do this blog thing.

So here we are: in December. Those who know me, know that I get incredibly excited around this time of year. There are already some pretty incredible things that have happened this holiday season, and it's NOT EVEN CHRISTMAS YET.

Some moments:

-Sitting in the passenger seat of my brother's car, talking to Jared, who was sitting beside me in the driver's seat. It was 1:00 in the morning, and we were eating little debbie's snacks and drinking beverages. I remember the dim light hesitantly glaring at me from my neighbor's lamp post across the street, seemingly further than it really was from my side of the windshield, I remember looking up into the sky and telling myself not to forget those stars, I remember how cold my feet became after a while, the way Jared's voice seemed to echo in my ears, how close the car was parked to the curb, and the way my coat felt against my skin. But mostly I remember feeling so incredibly loved from that conversation we had, so proud of what a man of character my "little" brother is becoming. This wasn't one of your typical sisterly moments, either. If this part of the story were a fairytale, I would have told Kings about this man. I would have written parables and screamed to the heavens about the glory that is in a man forging his path out of a sought love for a God who saved us. Tears do not suffice this time. Neither does singing. Nor dancing. Nor any other artistic expression that makes the earth tremble with its likeness to a wind that has seen everything in its free graze under the skies. I am silent. And I simply stretch my arms and thank my God for His passion and relentless pursuit in US.

-Feeling the first snow before I saw those crystal flakes floating down that day. I was with Cassy Hintz, and we were cold in Panera. We tried to do homework, but got distracted. We both noticed a man strutting by outside; short-sleeved and cigarette-smoking, and we couldn't contain our giggles. It was winter in our hearts, the fun kind. We left before our toes froze. As we ran outside, laughing and ready to go find some "good" hot chocolate in Wal-Mart, we saw the first snow of the year. We ran down the alley, splashing in our made-up puddles, looking up at the dim orange lights like little girls at a circus. We made wishes. And it became magic.

-A sweet conversation with Angelica De La Torre. We were practicing for the Variety Show that was to happen in a few days, and found a cozy little corner in the Union to whip out that guitar and sing together. Minutes ticked on and singing turned into blushing when a large group of fancy looking people walked by, which then turned into more singing and then a laugh or two, and then words exchanged which became like drops of rain colliding together in a great pool of sweet blessings. This girl is a lifegiver, and the love of Christ shines through her beauty. I think we both felt a little "out of it", and we both kept claiming temporary insanity. And it was sweet like the sweetest honey, because God held us in His palm that day, and we both knew it by the time we left.

I am thankful for moments like these, that make the holidays NOT so special. Yes, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I mean it. God shows Himself in the simplest ways sometimes and it doesn't take Christmas to do it. But you've got to open your eyes. Open up your child-like eyes today. Watch what God can do.

P.S. Some roommates and I are joining Amy Seiffert on her quest of wearing one dress for a month (she's doing six months, the beautiful woman!). It's to raise awareness and raise money for The Daughter Project, a Christian organization that mobilizes and restores women who have been sexually trafficked and /or abused. Here's one of Amy's blogs about it:

If you go to her blog and look at other posts, she has picture up of daily dress-wear. It's pretty fantastic.

Also: I came up from work last night at 4:00 a.m. to find Kristin Wilson and Cassy Hintz giggling in my bed. I thought it was a creepy girl under my covers so I came in screaming profanities and ripped the covers off of them before I found out who/what it was.

4:00 a.m.

Have a wonderful day :)