Thursday, December 29, 2011


"What does it mean to be a kingdom of God hero? Enter darkness, especially your own. Enter that darkness with sufficient humility that it can only be called foolishness. And to the degree you find the bright and beautiful light of the kindness of God, then take that light to the darkest world that God calls you to enter and then let the voracious winds of hell try and suffocate the minuscule light you offer in his name. Come to see if you find God to be real, true, and good." -Dan Allender I want to desire a life on the edge, but I feel too often that I allow the comforts of this world trap me into a very different reality. What would it look like for me to live a life following Jesus with no regards to myself? I mean, that is what we're called to as Christians. Why are we so hesitant? Why do we shy away from entering hard relationships/situations? Why do we allow our culture to define how we live instead of following Jesus? I am torn up this morning as I write. My heart wants a life that is totally surrendered to Him, no matter the cost. I read blogs like Dan Allender's and there is a resounding "yes" echoing in my heart. But my head/my mind fight my heart. I am afraid of the sacrifices that may come my way. I pray that I will have the courage to follow Jesus wherever he calls me even if it is into the darkest of places.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Begins

Its the time of the year where starbucks puts out their famous Christmas coffee treats, there are sales galore trying to get you to spend money on things you don't really need, christmas music is playing non-stop, and decorations of all kinds go up around the town and in your own home. I've been putting off Christmas decorating this year. For some reason I just haven't had the desire to do it. Well, it all started 2 days ago... we have group here on Thursday nights. A bunch of the people who come don't put christmas things up in their homes. So, I thought I would grace them with holiday cheer, bite the bullet, and decorate my house. I pulled out the 2 year old pre-lit tree, assembled it, plugged it in and only half of the lights on the thing work. I think, no biggie, I can just go get a light tester, you know the kind you find at Home Depot or Wal-Mart in the states. So out I go. 3 stores, many unhelpful store employees, 2 lattes, buckets of rain (which means wet clothes for the girl who forgot her umbrella), and a bad mood later, no light tester. I had other things that needed to get done that day, so I put my christmas decorating endeavors on hold for the night. "I'll figure this out tomorrow," I thought. The next day rolls around. I decide over the night that I am going to change my game plan. I go back to the one store with the intent of buying one strand of lights. It should be an easy fix, right? To the light section I go. I look around and see no single strand lights. Bummer. Back home, I decide I need to get my house in order. I have 4 hours before people come over. There are boxes filled with christmas decorations and ornaments everywhere not to mention the many loads of laundry sitting on the couch needing to be folded and put away. I need to clean! I start with the table and move my way through the house decorating and cleaning as I go. The stockings are hung, candles and nutcrackers are placed around. Everything is in its right place, but the magic seems to be missing because my sad tree isn't decorated and only half of the lights turn on. I thought all hope was lost. Non-the-less friends start arriving. The first friend to come is George (we'll call him this for privacy). George is a cool, level-headed dude. I saw him at the store earlier in the day on my trek to get lights. He asked why I was all the way up town and I told him my sad story. Without saying anything, he gets up, and starts inspecting every little light on my tree. Then I remember, George is a bomb technician. I say, "oh yea, you have to work with wires and things of the sort all the time." He says, " yea, I just built a bomb today." WHAT??!! Crazy man. He goes on looking and changing little lights until group starts. Another friends who works on the maintenance of hundreds or millions of dollars worth of aircraft comes in and starts helping. Its like I have the dream team working to fix my tree. Amazing. Long story short, they unwind a whole strand of lights from the tree (which is a major feat in itself)and inspect all of the lights. But still, the thing won't light up. I thought they were going to take the lights home with them so they wouldn't have to admit defeat. But the end result is that there is nothing to be done about these lights. They cannot be fixed. I paid the gentlemen for their time with as many fresh baked chocolate chip cookies they could eat and some for the road. I felt super blessed that they would try so hard and take their time to work on something so trivial as my tree lights. I am grateful for them. What about the lights you ask. Another friend is going to give me a strand she has in storage. I am grateful for friends that take time to care about us in even the smallest of ways. I just pray that I am a good steward of the friends Jesus places in my life. Sometimes I wish there were other friends around, maybe ones that I am more comfortable with or get along with better. But Jesus knows just who I need now. Here is what the house looks like so far.
Sad Christmas tree.
The nutcrackers are Joel's. Use shawls (pashminas) and ribbons to spruce up any spot.
I made these last year as well. Its SUPER easy! Take a box glass vase, fill it with ornaments and put satin ribbon around it. I fastened the ribbon with double sided sticky tape. Then make a bow to stick on top.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


One of my sisters came to visit me. We had a great time. I miss her already.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Mark 5:31–33 When Jesus asked, “Who touched me?” the woman responded with fear and trembling. Her fear may have been partly because, in working her way through the crowd to get to Jesus, she would have touched many other people and thus rendered them ceremonially unclean (cf. Lev. 15:19–27). Again Mark notes the theme of fear and shows how it leads to faith. More importantly, the woman felt deep awe (Gk. phobeomai can be rendered “be afraid” or “feel awe and reverence”) at the powerful presence of God who has healed her: she fell down before him and told him the whole truth, which testifies to her confidence in and sincere gratitude toward Jesus.

How many times do I hold back from God? Afraid of the outcome of the situation...This woman trusted Jesus. She knew without a doubt that she would be made well by him, faith. Faith is the antidote for fear. How often am I trapped in fear? How often do I not trust Jesus? Holy Spirit enable me to trust you! Open my heart to see you as true and able.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A New Song (that I am in love with)

So much has been going on lately. Joel and I hosted one of the highschool boys from our church for about a month while his mom left the island to get surgery. The week he left my parents showed up and stayed for 2 weeks. We had such a great time with them. I REALLY love those guys! Them being here with us was such an encouragement on many different levels. This last week I've been getting back into a routine of sorts.

Jesus has been teaching more and more about community and how I NEED to be in it. Its something that I, as a christian, feel that I can't live without. True community, with all its difficulties, is essential in knowing Jesus. Boy is it a challenge sometimes. Its so much easier (or so I would like to think) to do life on my own.

I've also been reading a great book by David Platt called Radical. If you haven't read it you should! Its wonderful. It challenges the American church to live more than just the "American Dream." He talks about what the gospel is all about. He talks about one of the goals (if not THE goal) of the gospel is not so that people's souls are saved and people who believe in Jesus receive blessings(although those things happen), but the goal of the gospel is actually KNOWING Jesus, our treasure and prize. I bet if you're like me, and truly honest with yourself, you'll see that you too have been pursuing the things/rewards of God instead of pursuing God himself. God is beautiful and wonderful! If you start on a journey/pursuit of him, you will not be disappointed.

As I've been trying to shift my mind into this reality I came across this song. Please enjoy.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Food Glorious Food!

Joel always laughs at me because I hate working out, but I LOVE food! Cooking and baking helps me relieve stress. Some people sit in front of the TV to go into no-man's-land, I cook. And I'll be the first to admit that I eat what I cook. (I'm one of those girls.) So, in order to keep my girlish figure, I've been working out. (boo!)

Here is just a sample of what I've been cooking recently.

Homemade Lasagna -It looks a bit different because I layered the cheese, sauce, and noodles differently this time. Mom's suggestion to make it "prettier" when you cut into it. It worked. Definitely pretty.

Homemade Rolls

Homemade Peach Cobbler- It was yummy! It looks like cinnamon rolls because you take dough, roll pecans, sugar, and butter in it, and put it on top of the peach mixture. Of course, I served it with icecream. :)

Mandarine Orange and Almond Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Garlic Roasted Chicken- This is my first attempt to cook a whole chicken. My observations, 1.) It takes forever to thaw, 2.) I don't know how I feel about taking the insides out myself, 3.) I think it's gonna be worth the price...$5.87. The before picture is to show everyone how proud I am that I trussed it myself :)

The finished product. We didn't actually eat this one. We gave it to a family who just had a baby. We get ours on Sunday! MMM.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rock of Ages

1. Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood,
from thy wounded side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
save from wrath and make me pure.

2. Not the labors of my hands
can fulfill thy law's commands;
could my zeal no respite know,
could my tears forever flow,
all for sin could not atone;
thou must save, and thou alone.

3. Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.

Wash me Savior or I die. Wash me Savior or I die.
Wash me, Wash me, Savior or I die.
Wash me Savior or I die.

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee;

Wash me Savior or I die.

more thoughts

"This is a very central concept if we are to have any understanding or any real practice of the true Christian life or true spirituality. I can take lists that men make and I can seem to keep them, but to do that my heart does not have to be bowed. But when i come to the inward aspect of the Ten Commandments, when I come to the inward aspect of the Law of Love, if I am listening even in a poor fashion to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, I can no longer feel proud. I am brought to my knees. In this life I can never say, "I have arrived; it is finished, look at me-I am holy." When we talk of the Christian life or true spirituality, when we talk about freedom from the bonds of sin, we must be wrestling with the inward problems of not coveting against God and men, of loving God and men, not merely some set of externals."- Francis Schaeffer.

The inward aspect of the of Law is coveting. It is the negative to the positive, love the Lord with all your heart. Our desires become coveting/sin when they fail to include the love of God or men. We find ourselves in this struggle daily.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Coupon Day

Well folks. I'm sorry to day that my total percentage was 10% savings on my groceries yesterday. I had a coupon for most everything I bought. So, I'm wondering how those ladies do it...I have a friend or two that I think I'm going to ask. I am a bit bummed and a lot determined. Couponing is shaping up to be a fine hobby, which is good because I'm in need of one.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I decided this week that I need to start clipping coupons. It all started because this past week I've had many conversations revolving around couponing. I felt a bit convicted and a lot curious. Besides, what else do I have to do. Some of my friends were saying that they save 30-40% on grocery bills. I was shocked. There is a new show on TLC called, "Extreme Couponing" that has everyone up in arms about saving money by using coupons. I've never seen it, and probably won't ever. We don't have cable. But the concept is awesome.

There are these huge bins at the commissary(on-base grocery store) full of coupons, separated into categories like, food, cleaning supplies, etc. The other day I spent about 30 min. searching through the many coupons to find my treasures. I got lucky with some of them. As I was looking through a woman came up and started a conversation with me about the coupon show. She said, "I just got so inspired." She looked in the bins for about 5 min., gathered her 5 coupons and proceeded into the store to shop. My thinking was, good luck lady. Five coupons probably equals a savings of about $5, if that...oh boy. Maybe it was wrong of me to think that she isn't as dedicated to this as I am. If you're gonna do it, then do it right...right??

The hardest part of this whole ordeal for me is actually finding the coupons that I need. We don't really have the Sunday paper option over here. We can, however, use coupons that have been expired up to 6 months past the exp. date. Awesome. I asked my mom to send me some. I'm also looking online to find deals that I would use here.

I haven't gone shopping yet with my pile of coupons. I'm still trying to find more. My technique isn't going to be to go shopping often. But rather to find coupons for most everything I buy, especially the items I buy on a weekly basis. I don't plan on stockpiling food. 1, there is no where to put it, and 2, its just Joel and me.

I'll keep everyone updated as to how much I save on my first shopping excursion. We shall see if couponing is worth all the hype.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

What a great weekend.

This weekend was truly awesome. I don't know if it was awesome because of the amazing people that I got to share it with or because it was just so full of life.

On Saturday Joel and I participated in an island wide scavenger hunt with the youth group kids. There were about 15 kids that showed up (not as big of a turn-out as we'd hoped for). Most of these kids were jr. high students. We split the kids into 2 teams. Joel and I were leaders along with our dear friend Jessica. We had snacks and adventures and of so much fun. There was a car portion and an on foot portion. Here are some pics of our team.

The rains came.

The kids didn't mind though.

My favorite Japanese baby.

I think they played for about an hour. They provided entertainment for Japanese and American onlookers waiting out the storm. So fun!

Then on Sunday after church, Joel and I went snorkeling. Here is what the day looked like yesterday...

I saw TONS of different of colors of fish and coral. And I swam right up to an octopus... totally on accident. It freaked me out! But it was super cool.

All in all, this weekend was jam packed with great fun and friends. Ahhh. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My anthem this week

I Surrender Lyrics
Verse 1:
There is no love, sweeter than the love You pour on me.
There is no song, sweeter than the song You sing to me.
There is no place, that I would rather be,
Than here at Your feet, laying down everything.

All to You, I surrender,
Everything, every part of me.
All to You, I surrender,
All of my dreams, all of me.

Verse 2:
If worship's like perfume, I'll pour mine out on You.
For there is none as deserving of my love like You.
So take my hand and draw me into You,
I want to be swept away, lost in love for You.

Bridge 1:
I surrender...

Bridge 2:
No turning back, I've made up my mind,
I'm giving all of my life this time.

Bridge 3:
Your love makes it worth it,
Your love makes it worth it all,
Your love makes it worth it all.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Body of Christ

This week for Sunday school I am teaching about the importance of the "Body the Christ" or the Church. Often times we take advantage of it or we, like the Corinthians, discount its members. (1 Cor. 12:21-25)

As I was preparing today I was thinking that if my physical body was sick ie., I had the flu, cut my hand, or had a headache, I would care for it. I would find all of the materials needed to make myself better and I would take action right away; my action would be top priority.

I then started thinking about how easy it is to find/identify sickness in the body of Christ. I mean, its everywhere. The body of Christ is made up of people who are sinful and broken. We, as the "Body", suffer when one member suffers. No matter what ministry we find this sickness in, ours or another, what is our response to it?

I was deeply convicted today thinking about this. Most of the time I want to run far far away from the sick member. We think, "Ministry isn't supposed to be this hard, is it?" or "I'm not supposed to be this inconvenienced, am I?"

How prideful we are! We spend hours and hours throughout the day making sure our own bodies are fed, exercised, and groomed, but when it comes to the Body of Christ, we are lackadaisical. We are ready to quit serving because of people and differences.

Jesus give us grace to see where we are running away from people instead of embracing and caring for them. Humble us to see where your Church is hurting. Give us strength Lord to love Your Church. Help us to give of ourselves for her, just as you did.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I wanted to write about what's going on here in Japan. The earthquake and tsunami that took place last week were truly devastating. Here are some stats for you to think about:

- roughly 590,000 people have been displaced
- about 380,000 people are in shelters
- the expected death toll is 10,000 people
- over 1 million people are without water
- over 5 million without power

These stats are astounding! The crisis is far from over. I'm sure everyone has heard about the nuclear power plants and threats from radiation exposure.

Its so hard to hear about the mass amounts of people who have lost everything they own and not feel something in your heart for them, but most of us move on with our lives.

They say that the people on the coast had 10 minutes from the time of the earthquake to when the tsunami hit. Most people did't make it out.

The feeling around here, in places of business and leisure, is sobering. The people are cordial, as normal, but very somber. Many of the Okinawans have family or know people who are directly affected by this disaster.

The Okinawan Christians around the island are holding nightly prayer meetings to lift up friends and family in mainland. Words are not enough to comfort broken and hurting friends and family. These faithful servants ask the Father for help.

Let me tell you a story about a friend of a friend.

This woman is getting married in about a week. She grew up in Sendai, the town that was hit the hardest. Her parents still live there. Its been about a week since the earthquake and tsunami. She hasn't heard from them yet. They are postponing the wedding until she hears one way or another.

This is one story in a million. There is SO much action to be done to undo what the earthquake and tsunami did.

My husband was among 38 other Marines from his unit to deploy to mainland Japan. They were at work all last weekend preparing supplies and equipment to take with them on their journey to aid in the relief. Monday they took a 24hour boat ride to mainland. They are far away from the disaster right now. Their humanitarian efforts will commence upon hearing word from the Prime Minister of Japan and the President of the U.S. As of now, they are gone with an "open ended" return date.

I am so thankful that he left for humanitarian efforts. While the devastation is similar to that of war, it is not war. He does not need a weapon at all. I am thankful that he gets to reach out and be Jesus to these people in a very small way.

The need is SO great in northern Japan right now. We have a Saviour who knows our needs. We can reach out to others because we have been taken hold of by Him first.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Side note.

Look at my pretty flowers. The husband surprised me with them even though he's in Thailand right now. :(

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Justice II

There is so much injustice in the world. The more I look around, the more overwhelmed in seeing all of the areas where injustice occurs. I've noticed that it doesn't matter what culture or what age group or type of government a country has, where people are, there is injustice. How daunting.

I've been seeing this reoccurring theme in my heart and other blogs to right the wrong in the world. There is something in our generation that sees the hurting and brokenness and wants to take action. We really do want hunger to stop, people to love the earth, kids to be adopted, and ultimately we want world peace. We spend money to go to poor places in the world to be a part of the change that is happening there. We want our lives to mean something. And most times we think our lives have value if we do good. This is in Christians and non-Christians alike. Our generation is striving to do more.

Its so good.

I go back and forth as to whether humanitarian aid for the sake of doing good, is a truly good thing. If these various humanitarian efforts give people cloths, shelter, water, and medical care but have no Jesus, are their efforts in vain? Are they just putting a small band-aid on a would that needs full on surgery? Does it help anything? I still don't know what I think about all of this. I want to say that it is still a good thing. People helping people is great. So, I guess I'll leave it there for now.

What does doing justice/kingdom work look like for me? Well, I've been throwing around a few different ideas. 1, inviting single marines over once a week to give them a free meal and a home to hang out in...maybe some games and a good time. 2, taking most every Saturday and joining with an already established group to feed homeless. (This church has about 200 homeless Japanese people in it...amazing!) 3, trying to help out more somehow with the military wives and kids.

We shall see.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Justice I

Here are some quotes from "Generous Justice," by Timothy Keller.

" Although they(people in his church) were living comfortable, safe lives, they became concerned about the most vulnerable, poor, and marginalized members of our society, and they made long-term personal sacrifices in order to serve their interests, needs, and cause. This is, according to the Bible, what it means to 'do justice.'"

"When most modern people see the word 'righteousness' in the Bible, they tend to think of it in terms of private morality, such as sexual chastity or diligence in prayer and Bible study. But in the Bible tzadeqah refers to day-to-day living in which a person conducts all relationships in family and society with fairness, generosity, and equity."

*tzadeqah is a Hebrew word that is mostly translated as "being righteous," but should be translated as "being just".

"We do justice when we give all human beings their due as creations of God. Doing justice includes not only the righting of wrongs, but generosity and social concern, especially toward the poor and vulnerable. This kind of life reflects the character of God. It consists of a broad range of activities, from simple fair and honest dealings with people in daily life, to regular, radically generous giving of your time and resources, to activism that seeks to end particular forms of injustice, violence, and oppression."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


One of my favorites is "Rock of Ages." Its so beautiful!

New Identity

Along with the New Year comes a slew of new resolutions. People with a desire to be different than they were last year set out on this journey to change themselves, to make self improvements. These resolutions include: lose weight, eat healthy, quit smoking, read more, do better in school, love better, save more money, the list goes on and on.

The thing about it is that our human efforts are futile. We in and of ourselves cannot change who we are. We cannot muster up enough strength to change the motives behind why we have the habits we do. We are flawed. Oh how we try to change ourselves, to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, so to speak. We resolve to be different. We disregard our natural state of brokenness and weakness to "be that change we want in the world."

I, like so many others, NEED to change this year. Its almost imperative that I not stay in the same place. I NEED to lose weight, and eat healthily. I NEED to love more, be a better friend, give more of my time/money/talent. And for a while I think I could muster the strength to do so. But in doing so by my own strength, I will get burnt out, like so many of us do. I will start strong and a month or two down the road, all of my efforts will frustrate me. I won't get the results I efforts would be in vain.

So what is the answer. How do we change our identity? How do we find strength that will last? How do we make the change stick?

I've been thinking about these questions lately. I've been thinking of ways that I could change; see the motive of why I do these things or don't do other things is deeply rooted into my humanness. I know I have a problem and I want to fix it. The issue that I find over and over again is that I can't.

I NEED to be healed by the Healer and fixed by the ultimate Fixer, Jesus Christ. I NEED my identity rooted in Him. I NEED my heart to be changed and my thoughts to be renewed. I NEED Jesus. I NEED God. I NEED the Holy Spirit working and moving and pointing me to the cross daily.

So the next question is, how do I get Him? How do I find Him?

I've been thinking about the scripture, "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matt. 6:33

I think that to figure out what His kingdom is so that I can seek it, I must read His words. To be transformed into His image, I need to know Him more and more. He is life. His words breathe life into me.

I'm not trying to be legalistic about this. I just know that something in my life has to change. I've tried doing things my way. I've tried mustering up strength, but in the end, my efforts fail me.

I am going back to the beginning. By the power of the Holy Spirit, speaking to me through the Word of God, I will change. How could I not?

So just like that, I am starting a new Bible reading plan. I read about it on another blog that I semi follow. You can start it too, if you'd like. Here's the link.

I just figure that I need help with my priorities and my identity. I need help doing the things I should be doing in this life. I need help being a good steward of everything I have here on earth between the times. (You know, between the time when Jesus came and when he will return again). Who better than Jesus to help me out?