A Godly Man Will Still Want You

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This post is hard for me to write because I am going to have to be incredibly transparent. Transparency freaks me out. Being vulnerable is uncomfortable and scary. Something about looking weak really gets to me and I struggle with remembering how vulnerability can allow God to work inside of me and uplift others around me who may be struggling, as well.

If you’re anything like me, you like to be yourself. I choose to embrace my quirky, different and unique qualities. I decided when I came to college that I wanted people to love me for me instead of someone I wasn’t. Although I found plenty of friends, guys and girls, who loved me for me, I still happen to be incredibly insecure about it. Why?

This post is meant for Christian women, like myself, who struggle with one question:

Will I ever be good enough for a Godly…

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Independence Day in the Great U.S.A!

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Erin and I ended our summer road trip in a great way- celebrating the fourth of July in my neighborhood! Photos below!

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A little about Erin (pictured above!)- we met in Marketing class when I was still adjusting after transferring to UST. I remember how kind she was to me; she wrote out her favorite faith groups on campus and gave them to me- and I was basically a stranger to her at the time! (Flashback photos right here):

Fast forward to this year- she’d been doing great things with her life over the year, and I’d been abroad and otherwise generally working crazy hard on my Accounting degree in the other months. We both began attending Campus Ministry retreats regularly, and I started to look forward to share each retreat experience with Erin; she encouraged me to attend a few that I may not have attended without her enthusiasm, and we both applied for our last retreat together: Kairos! As leaders, we had an amazing time together and I was able to share some moments that I’d never trade for anything else. I will still laugh to think of Erin’s cold room and my basically-penthouse at the first retreat of the year (what happened there?? I really lucked out, haha!!), how she listened to ALL the versions of my talk (and I loved everything she practiced too), how she always goes on adventures to find granola bars with me, how she listens to LONG stories about complicated life matters, how we love the UST fountain….(photos!)…

Erin and I were stargazing during one of the Kairos nights and saw FIVE SHOOTING STARS. This was the first time I’ve ever seen shooting stars in the U.S. (only seen a few in Guatemala before this). God has blessed me with this friendship..it’s even lead to road trips…!

OKAY, back to the fourth of July theme..

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IMG_6467 IMG_6480Hope everyone has a lovely Independence Day for all nations that celebrate such a day! Our USA day was lovely- I always forget how great our fireworks displays are each year until they are right in front of me, and I feel so blessed to be near my friends and family for such a great day. I will cherish these memories forever! Much love to my readers.

Looking Back: Grateful for Every Moment

.. I’m grateful for every moment, but the beautiful moments are the easiest to appreciate initially. Now that I’m not going through particular difficult moments, I’m just as grateful for the growth and needed change they allowed me.

Sometimes life can get you a little down, as though the moments now are harder than they’ve been in the past, or that you’re not moving forward with your life as quickly as you’d like, or that you want to feel more happiness, or that in certain moments, you feel a new happiness you’ve never imagined and want to bottle it up to keep with you forever.

Through each of these moments, the answer to these concerns is always in front of me. I know it, and I still won’t even always seek Him. I’m praying for everyone in this boat, because it can make for difficult moments, but I am remembering that God *always* has brought me the best.

The best in life comes after taking out what was ‘the best’ before- if my life story speaks to one thing, it screams this. The ‘middle time’ of transition doesn’t get easier knowing this, though. I have to believe more; I need more trust in Him!

Even in just today, He has so many beautiful surprises and little seconds filled with Joy for each of us. What will it be for me, and for you? Will we be too busy to notice or cherish them?

So maybe I’m sick with a bad sore throat today (and *if* I was complaining, I’d say that’s my least favorite kind of sick day), but it will still be a great day; He ensures this. Much love to all my readers, and enjoy these photos (I took every one of them except one!)


** Brace Yourselves- The following photos contain little details that hint at the people who I contain in my heart, experiences that have shaped I how see the world through my time in just 10 countries so far…think of how much we still have to discover, and yet, for me- I am so happy to remember these moments of great joy! So please, comment if you recognize a location or may have been present for one of these moments! I do apologize for some years’ photos not included, as I lost a lot of my photo archive when switching laptops just about a year ago. Still- enjoy! **)


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A Lot on the Line (#understatement)

What’s trending right now in the media: not the subject of this post. However, if you’re okay with the idea of keeping an open mind, I highly suggest that you read this post!


This is the first year that I can honestly say that I looked at the season of Lent with a need for more than its popular Twin Cities cultural value: ‘giving something up, no meat on Fridays, and get yourself to a fish fry if you’re over 80 years old.’

Why am I trying to follow Lent more closely though, right?

This year has been an unbelievable spiritual challenge in ways that I would only be grateful for when seeing the growth it has allowed me, and I’m not going to shy away from this Lenten topic because it’s worth the listen, no matter where you’re at on your faith journey- and I’d like to hear any comments, as always.

I really do believe that YOU don’t choose an authentic faith journey, but it chooses (and pursues) YOU. Another way of putting it: I never envisioned myself writing posts about Lent or anything religious at all, ever. I’m still using this blog to keep up with what’s going on in my life, though, yet by doing so, I don’t mean to cause any feelings of exclusion toward anyone in doing so.

After all, *THE* main reason why I have this blog is this: “If you judge someone, you have no time to love them” (Blessed Mother Teresa), so please believe me when I say that I mean to share this post to benefit every reader, not just the practicing Catholics.

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By the way, isn’t Blessed Mother Teresa inspiring?

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A Family Tradition: The Winter Trip Up North

Way up North in Minnesota, at the end of December? Yes, one may say this is a definition of insanity. Our family calls it tradition, and it never fails to be a great time. In this particular year, oddly there was no snow so we did not do our typical cross country skiing. Family friends (my amazing godmother, Mary, included) joined us for game nights, great meals, hiking, visiting the headwaters, and generally enjoying the beauty found if you can bear the harsh cold! (I’d say we managed!)

Note: Elizabeth was also present to represent our family (Alyssa and Ryan weren’t able to come unfortunately), but she wasn’t in the mood for photos over the trip. It is always so nice spending time around Liz, though- one of the highlights of this trip!

Marvelous Ms. Marie

Marie has always inspired me by her strength, courage, determination, hard work, compassion, and heart of GOLD. I am blessed to have had Marie as my first high school friend. I am blessed that we are still friends now, because as anyone moving on from high school knows, that’s when a high school friendship is a choice, and we always choose to be friends…besties, actually.

Marie, you mean the world to me. I cannot WAIT to walk right next to you on May 3rd. You are strong and I am so lucky for every moment we get together, and for the amazing future that God chooses for us- I think we’ll stay close through it all. We might not be quite so ridiculous as our high school years (oh wait, that was me always doing really silly things and you being the wise one), but I’m glad we’ve been growing up together, because I see how great God is through the strong example of your life. Marie, thank you (and your amazing family) for everything you’ve done for me and all the ways you’ve been there for me. You look out for what’s best for me, and I can only hope to attempt the same for you. (She has a blog from her time as a missionary in Nepal! Check it out here).

As we always do, we visited Minnehaha Falls for nature photos. This trip was a success, as were the many that came before this! The only season we have missed has been Spring, so I’m hoping we can get that planned out soon? Spring 2015 is on its way!

(As a side note, we’re overdue for a trip, and our families are much overdue for a dinner together!)

If anyone has a story/comment to add on about Marie, please do so. Much love, readers!

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So of course I’ll miss Taylor quite a ton, but I might not miss her joking about how this gringa will handle her overpacking madness. It’s funny because it’s true though..I’ll give her credit where credit is due.

I’m writing from Arequipa, Peru next. I love everyone and everything for getting me to this point…if you’re wondering how I feel right now. Just pretty excited and happy and so, so blessed.

Cynthia Kepp is the person to thank for this poem:

We talked,
We walked,
for a Moment in Time.You passed through my life that day and left your mark.
You may never pass my way again,
Or you may stay for a lifetime.

No matter what,
I want to say thank you for the impression you made
that will stay with me for eternity.

I enjoyed the walk,
I enjoyed the talk.
I am blessed for that moment in time.

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I thought a poem was fitting for a fabulous friend who enjoys poetry! Thanks for being you, Maggie! Life is always better with you and the (mostly amazing) facts of college life we’ve walked through these past few months…they’ve all been a blast! 🙂