Thursday, October 22, 2009

just do it.

Do you ever wonder if the person you perceive yourself as is the same person the world sees you as? Like, do you have ideas about the way you feel towards humanity, but then wonder if anyone else could point that out about you? I do.

I was sitting in my car the other day and a song came on the radio that caught my attention. I wasn't feeling particularly insightful or contemplative at the moment, but all of a sudden I was really struck by the words of this song. The song talked about following God into the darkness and to the broken. I'll be honest that when I first heard the words I thought, "Yeah, that's how it should be. That's how I am." Arrogant, right? I'm sure the "authentic Christian" would probably tell you how they were immediately aware of their inadequacies, but there I was thinking how I was just like this song was saying - always helping and loving people. That those ideals are my ideals.

But then I thought, what if no one else knows that? As I sat there I thought about who I am to other people and what in my actions may tell people that I'm gung-ho about following Jesus into the darkness. Couldn't think of anything. It's true that following Christ through life and bringing hope to the most hopeless places is a deep desire of my heart, but the truth is I haven't done much about that. I haven't jumped at the first chance to spend time doing something that tells another person that they are so loved by The One Most Dear. I haven't even jumped at the second chance. Or third. I've actually been pretty good at letting the music do that for me. Like, as long as I'm singing it it's the truth!

Singing along with the song just doesn't cut it. That's the thing. Life is certainly full of transitional phases and one of those is from college to adulthood. I might argue that the 4 years of college plus two extra years proceeding are just one big transition, but certainly finding a way to settle into a life completely void of class schedules, organized chapels, and prepared meals takes some time. And so here I am in that post-college life making all kinds of excuses why I haven't taken time to contribute to the life of someone in a hopeless situation. I want to be done making excuses about that. I want to commit. We've been doing all kinds of church hopping in the last several months, but have finally decided to land at one and do everything in our power to involve ourselves in their community. I'm so afraid to take the dive sometimes, you know? I think about my parents as this age and realize that they were these great leaders in their small church in their first years of marriage. But I'm realizing now that I just have to do it. Just do it. Like Nike.

So we're going to a church called The Gathering. And it's exciting. And it's new. And we're praying like crazy that the Lord brings us some joy in the much needed form of friends. We've decided that we're not gonna sit on the back row and see what we think, but we're going to dive right in and start participating in some of the great things they're doing for the community. It's so simple. But then, most things are. It just takes a while for us silly ol' human beings to figure it out sometimes.

Sorry for the long blog and the long blog absence! Happy fall!!

Monday, September 21, 2009


I'm such a bad blogger! It's been so long since I've last posted. I'm very sorry about that. But it's hard to write when I'm not feeling very inspired. And you don't want to just hear a bunch of my ramblings because let me tell you they are not very amusing. But seriously, hey. How are ya?

So much has happened in my life in the last month and a half. It's sort of hard to believe! I'm sure most of you know already, but I'll share anyway. As a graphic design major I was required to complete an internship and I found one at a design firm downtown Kansas City called The Collaboration. Really, I had a hard time finding anyplace that would take me or that was even hiring in this tough economy so I landed here sort of as a last resort and pretty randomly. I was doing some outrageously tedious work called COBing (literally, cutting out background) of very expensive jewelry. Anyway, when I had completed my required hours one of my bosses called me in and offered me a job as a part-time employee! Who knew?? It completely caught me off guard, but I totally accepted and now I'm an official employee of a really great firm. I've been working crazy amounts of overtime in the last few weeks working on a big project. Thus, my lack of blogging. Truly though, this job has been an incredible blessing. Remember how I talked a while ago about how God always provides. Well. He does. He did. He is. Financially, this job could not have come at a more needed time for Ryan and I. Praise the Lord for that!

Part of what I've learned already from this job and from a couple of other encounters is that a part of my soul is being nourished in a way that it hasn't been in a really long time. I'm meaningfully contributing to people's lives. I have had the really blessed opportunity to have some good conversations with friends about life and love and living. Those are things I live for. Being able to share my life in ways that help people know that whatever they're experiencing now isn't the end of the road. I suppose I've been at such a desolate place in my own heart that reaching out to others hasn't been on the top of my to-do list, but finally coming out on the other side of that has allowed me to be... me. The me I'm used to having around at least. And even thought these conversations I've had meant a lot to the other person they also put a piece of my heart back together I guess. I say this like I knew it all along. I didn't. I didn't know until I felt that hint of restoration that these meaningful contributions were some of the very fibers that kept my quality of life in tact. That keep my heart pumping. It just feels good to share and confide and relate with someone. I don't think that is an accident.

I love to know that I'm still learning. I would be scared to think I'd gotten it all down. I say it a lot, but I'll say it again: the Lord is faithful. A constant. A comfort. And I couldn't do a darn thing without Him.

Friday, August 14, 2009

my life according to copeland.

This was on my friend Jolleen's blog. Looked like fun so I thought I'd give it a try. She used the band Eisley (who I am also a huge fan of). I chose Copeland - one of my dependable favorites.

The goal:
Use only the titles of songs of ONE ARTIST or BAND and cleverly answer these questions. Try not to repeat songs.

Describe yourself:

I'm a Sucker For A Kind Word

How do you feel:

Hold Nothing Back

Describe where you live:

Where's My Head

If you could go anywhere, where would you go:

Another Day in Paradise

Your favorite form of transportation:


Your best friend is:

There Cannot Be a Close Second

You and your best friends are:

The Brightest

What's the weather like:

Careful Now

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called:

You Have My Attention

What is life to you:

Testing the Strong Ones

Your greatest fear:

No One Really Wins

What is the best advice you have to give:

Take Care

Thought for the Day:

Choose the One Who Loves You More

How I would like to die:


My soul's present condition:

Coming Around Again

My motto:

Love is a Fast Song

Well, there you go!

Monday, August 10, 2009

power to the people.

Blogging, I'm sure, is most effective when the topic presented is as fresh on a person's mind as possible. This literally just happened to me. Therefore, I must blog. I just had a completely bi-polar sequence of events transpire. Let me expand.

After dropping Ryan off at work after dinner so he could finish up some things I decided to drop by Barnes and Noble to see if I could use up what was left of a gift card I have burning a hole in my pocket. I, like many, could literally spend hours in this store. It's overwhelming. I feel like my brain is on total overload when I'm there. I want to look at every book cover.... So pretty. I want to design these book covers. I want to be this good. I'm better than some of them. I love the way the pages feel. Then it's, what kind of book would be best to spend a gift card on? Look at this novel! It's probably good. What if it's not? A cookbook! This looks like good food. I don't think I'd cook half of this food. I need more pictures. I'll never have those ingredients in my home. A whole book on soup? 30 minute meals? Gourmet chef? Then needing some stability I go back to the stationery. I love the way the cards look. I want to own every journal. I should journal more. I want to design cards. Ahhh... peace.

My conclusion at the end of my Barnes and Noble experience (at which I left empty-handed) was that I felt so empowered! Don't you love to feel empowered? I do. It's the same feeling I get when I go to a craft or fabric store. I see all of these things that can be combined to create millions of awesome things and I want to do it all! I want to build and create and sew. I can, you know? It's just an empty afternoon away. Then I go to B & N and I remember how much I enjoy reading and want to read my life away! I want to teach myself and be enlightened about so many things. Even leaving empty handed I was not left feeling lacking. I felt empowered! I was probably actually smiling as I left. I was ready to change the world.

Perhaps, I knowingly chose to go to Barnes and Noble because I knew I was headed to Wal-Mart afterwards for a few things. It's hard to say really, but at Wal-Mart I ended up and boy was it a zoo. Wal-mart is the opposite of Barnes and Noble. It does not leave you feeling empowered. In fact, more times than not it leaves you feeling very, very defeated. Now. I love school supplies. Buy me a new pen and I'm as happy as a clam. However, I do not love back to school shopping. I made the regrettable mistake of entering the Back to School section and I nearly lost my life to several flying binders, runaway carts, and tiny children obscuring the walkway. What was I even doing there?! I don't need school supplies right now? It's 9:30 on a monday night! Go home! Quickly after this realization I exited the area and continued on to what I was there to do in the first place. I grabbed what I needed and needlessly lingered a little more looking at things I didn't need (but had coupons for!). Of course, my entire journey conveniently matched up with another families shopping trip in which all 9 of their under 8 year old children were running amuck in the aisles playing guns and touching every thing they could screaming, "Mommy I need this! Mommy!!" At this point, I'm laughing. Probably out loud. Because I'm thinking about Ryan and how if he were there at that moment he would be out of his mind infuriated. His lips would be pursed, his arms would be crossed and he would be hardly saying a word for fear that he lash out at the innocent children (and nobody wants that). Anyway, I headed to the checkout to save what was left of my previously peaceful evening.

But wait. Here's where it just all comes together. There I am in the 10 items or less line holding a bit more than I can comfortably hold plus a half gallon of milk that is getting awfully cold on my arm. Finally, I make it to a piece of the counter so I can set some things down. And then it's my turn. And right at that second, after waiting at least 10 minutes in line I realize I have left my wallet in the car. That's right. I tell the girl nevermind, she says she'll hold the things if I'd like, I say okay I'll be right back and out I go. Unbelievable. But I gotta say, God bless that cashier. After returning she rang me up and reminded me that I was holding coupons earlier. And then, of course, one of the coupons said I needed two of the items, not one, to get the discount. The blessed girl just rang me up for two and let me go grab one on my way out.

SO. You can see the emotional roller coaster I've just been through. Can't you? Nevertheless, God bless that Wal-mart cashier. She wasn't even mad at me. And I wasn't even mad at Wal-mart. I'm still on an empowered high!

Hope you find something to empower you this week. Probably wise to steer clear of Wal-mart afterward though.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


My what an incredibly busy month of July! Seems like a whirlwind! I got to see my wonderful sister and her darling son for a whole week. Then the week after that my best friend Jordan and his girlfriend Rebecca came to visit, which was so fun to be able to show them around. After that my mom came to help with the wedding and at the end of that week my lovely, lovely sister-in-law got married! I can't even believe all of that was crammed into one month! All of that to say that blogging was shifted down the list of priorities, but never fear... here I am again

I've been thinking about justification. How we all do it or we cause others to do it. How it's really this vicious cycle of proving yourself. How it can be really hurtful. And really demeaning. And how I don't want to have any part of it.

Now, probably not all justification is bad, but the kind I'm talking about are those situations where your small ways of life feel threatened and you begin defending and explaining it to another person as a way to say that what you're doing is not, in fact, as this person says it is. Do you know what I mean? I found myself in more than one of these situations recently and after it was all said and done I was left feeling really discouraged with my insides sort of upside down. Why do people feel like that need to say things in a way that make other people feel like they're wrong? And why do I feel like I need to defend that stuff? It's probably a bit of a testimony to my insecurities, but it's also just annoying. I wish I were strong enough to just say, I do what I do man. Sometimes I am, but recently I guess I haven't been. (To be clear I'm talking about things like, "Why would you ever put blue mirrors on a brown wall?" to which I reply, "Well... uhh... I dunno.. I like blue.. I thought it looked nice?").

It's a funny thing moving to a brand new place. It disorients you in a lot of ways. I left Nampa feeling fairly confident in knowing who I was and where my place in the world was. There was really nothing to fear. That was the life I had made for myself because for too many years in the past I felt lonely, unlovable, and inadequate. And finding my place in Nampa wasn't just a coping mechanism or a lie to hide my insecurity -- I did find who I was. I found my worth in Jesus. I read a book one summer that was a version of Brennan Manning's Abba's Child and there was a part of that book that said, "Define yourself radically as one totally loved by God." I realized that my worth wasn't what the world told me it was, but what God knew all along. Anyway, the funny thing about moving is that all the security I had is gone and I'm left feeling an awful lot like I did a lot of years ago. I'll tell you, it has caught me off guard to realize that is what has happened. I thought I was through with low self-esteem a long time ago - that's kid stuff. But here I am. Often questioning my value, justifying my actions and worrying about how I'm perceived by others.

Please don't take this for what it is not - a plea for a pick-me-up. It's mainly just for me. So that I can outwardly acknowledge what is going on in my heart. The devil likes to pick on this part of my life. It likes to eat at my self worth until it's gone. And sometimes I think it's just as important to acknowledge that as it is to acknowledge that the Lord is mightier than it all. He is. The interesting thing is that I just told you how I found my worth in God. How I read that I can define myself as being totally loved by God. But sometimes even when we know the truth it's hard to find. So I'm working on it. Trying to not be tricked by the devil and led to believe that I'm not good enough. I know that I am. Deep down I know. But right now that's hard to see.

And that is what's on my heart right now. Hope summer is finding you all well and happy! I can't wait to buy school supplies!

Friday, June 26, 2009

some truth.

Who's up for a trip back to africa? Just thought of it today and want to go back. So I thought I'd post a picture. Anyway....

I think I've always been a little grown-up for my age. Being the youngest gives me certain advantages that the other kids didn't have and one of those is a perspective of life that is a little... wiser maybe or more long-term than others my age. Anyway, sometimes I go through things I've written and other miscellaneous items and I'm always amazed at some of the things I have said. And I find it so interesting that I find these things when I need them the most and it always catches me off guard. 

In the last couple years of high school I wrestled a lot with my spirituality and my religion. This crazy boy in my life challenged a lot of things that I accepted as truth for all my years. Everyone goes through this stage of life. The transition between your knowing your parent's truths and finding your own. So after months and maybe years of sorting these feelings out I decided that I wanted to write down what I believed. I wanted to be able to form complete, concrete thoughts about all the things I believed in. The reason I'm bringing this up now is because I just found the file on my computer and it was really good for me to read it again. If you're ever lookin for a bit of a challenge I'd encourage you to write down what you believe. It's harder than you think. 

I thought I'd share a couple of the things I found. Because... that's what we do. We share with each other. So here you go. 

I believe that God is the one, true Savior. He died because of His passionate, intense love for His people, He was the ultimate sacrifice for our sin and remains that sacrifice today. I believe that while on earth, Jesus’ main goal was to love all people, regardless of who they were. This love also set an example for all followers to come. Our deepest mission is to Love each other.

In a generation and movement that are so focused on love I believe that there are some things missing. I think the general mission of being able to love everyone around us and accept everyone is an excellent one, but love without God is empty. As Christians we are to love like Jesus did and in that love we give God the credit, the glory. Too many times people leave out God when He should be the goal. Love alone does not bring a world together in Christ, Love through God does. 

I believe in forgiveness. I believe that God desires for us to come to Him with everything, unashamed. God can give us new life and when we come to Him with our crap He can take it all away. However, I believe that along with God’s forgiveness there has to be restoration. We have to allow ourselves to be healed and work to grow from our past. Forgiveness can only truly begin to take shape in our lives if we allow it to transform us to become the people God made us to be.

I am a Christian. I claim Christianity not as a group of people with restrictions and a precise set of beliefs, but as one that is focused on becoming more and more like Christ. To be a Christian is to live like Jesus lived. I love what Rob Bell says, “Christian is a great noun, but a terrible adjective.”  I want my actions to reflect those of Christ’s. It would be truly incredible if Christianity could be transformed to look more like Christ and less like… it is now. 

The last one seemed to call out to me this week because sometimes I think I avoid the label of Christian at risk of people to thinking I'm some sort of crazy person all tied up in religion. But then to never claim that I am Christian - that is, a Christ-follower - I run the risk of living my whole life without people knowing that I do what I do and I am what I am because of my Savior's deep, deep love for me. You know? 

It was good to hear my 2006-self say those words. It gave me a sense of renewal and I appreciate that. 

Sunday, June 7, 2009

interstate 435.

I was running around the other day doing some errands and the craziest thing happened. I was on one side of town and needed to get to the other side, so what did I do? I hopped on the 435 and was there in no time. What's the big deal, right? I'll tell ya! I don't drive on the freeway as an everyday means of transportation. In fact, altogether in the last year this was the 4th time I've driven on the freeway. For one, there are like 3 freeways here compared to the one in Idaho. So I've been at risk of getting on one and taking myself to who knows where. Two, these freeways don't just go in one straight line like I-84. They're all big and there are all these things you have to do to insure that you're not accidentally getting on one freeway from another. It's all a big t0-do really. So you can see why I stick to surface streets, right? But not the other day. The other day I took the dive. 

After I was done with my errands, almost back to my house I realized that what I did was pretty major. Part of my not going on the freeway I think was in part of little bit of me just rejecting all things Kansas. It sounds silly, I'm sure, that a roadway system is infiltrating my thoughts this much. But just deciding to brave the freeway and be a real kansan felt like I was starting to get over all that silly stuff.  And mainly what I realized is that I'm happy here for right now and I think I've been happy for a while. It has just been hard to embrace that because how do you embrace happiness here while still remembering it there? Do you understand what I mean? Maybe it's a silly train of though since I should just be happy about being happy. There is just something inside of me that is afraid of forgetting Idaho. Because I love Idaho. And I still miss it terribly. I miss my family and my friends and my school. But I like living here. What I really want is for the two to be one, you see? I don't see an issue with that. :) 

This is me on a good day of course. Somedays are not good days and I want to go back to Idaho and forget about this whole thing. But right now I am thankful for this frame of mind. I've loved having Aimee home for the summer. It's so nice to have a friend! That is our next step - finding friends. I want to say thank you to those of you who read this and have said a prayer for Ryan and I as we've struggled to find our place here. Please continue to pray for us because we're not done yet! 

Hope you're having a wonderful summer. Come visit! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

here here!

Well my friends, Ryan and I are about to head to Idaho to witness the marriage of my best friends. I can't even believe this is about to happen! I'm so excited. I thought I'd give you a little glimpse into my life with Leah and Louie. I love them both and hope the return from Mexico WITHOUT swine flu. Please. 

Saturday, May 2, 2009


I believe in the power of the spoken word. I'm a pretty big advocate for it actually. I believe that our relationships and day to day interactions with one another are largely affected and influenced by the words we speak. More importantly, I believe in saying what you mean and only that. I'll try to explain. 

When I was younger I didn't have a firm grasp on this subject. In fact, I prided myself on being outspoken... about pretty much everything. I've always had a very passionate heart and I generally have a hard time staying quiet when something that makes my heart beat harder by the second is being tossed around within a group of people. I think in my younger days most people would use the word "opinionated" to describe me. Always having something to say. I actually witnessed an adult say out loud to another adult right in front of me that I "had a very big mouth." I would argue that that was a stretch. Anyway, the point is that I didn't understand what it meant to be careful to say what you mean and I definitely couldn't grasp the idea that maybe my words hurt other people. I'm fairly certain my mom was constantly trying to help me understand this. 

I remember the day I saw who I had been all those years. It was sometime during the first years of high school. Some friends and I had decided to watch old videos of our church musicals and at the end were some silly, random moments of which I was featured in one. I cannot tell you how embarrassed I was as I watched my annoying little 6th grade self speak so critically and disrespectfully to my children's pastor. In seconds I saw why people said what they had about my attitude at times. I could only imagine how many people I must have offended every time I used that tone of voice. The tragedy of it, however, was that the words I was saying weren't the same things I was feeling. My heart would say I loved being a part of something, but my words would say something sarcastic. But I'm sure most people picked up on my heart words mostly, right? Wrong. 

Since that night I have strived to speak in the same way my heart speaks. It takes time. And many times I had to learn to say nothing at all because I couldn't figure out how to say the right thing. Don't take this the wrong way. It isn't that I just shut up for the rest of my life, but I saw and heard how harsh and ineffective I had used my words in the past and part of the road to changing that was sometimes learning to not say anything at all. I've had to convince a lot of old friends that I am not the person I used to be. It's been an interesting journey. 

I think learning to say what my heart feels has been one of the most healing and renewing journeys in my life. This blog and writing words down in general have been such helpful tools in pushing me to very intentionally think about what I really have to say. To form my thoughts completely. Because in the end I want the people I love and just people in general to know exactly who I am. And what a greater way to show them then through my words? I want to be able to communicate in a way that doesn't have to be translated through a slew of sarcasm and witty remarks. (To be clear, I am both sarcastic and witty but there is a time and a place for both). 

I hope that wasn't just totally random and confusing. It may be a better conversation for real life rather than blog life. That is all for now. I'd encourage you to speak the words of your heart. You won't regret it. 
I don't think. :) 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

life after resurrection.

I love Easter. I think I say that about a lot of things and perhaps a lot of holidays, but I'm going to go ahead and say it again -- I love Easter! It's a weird sort of love though. Maybe more of a love-hate. Because it is sort of hard to love the betrayal and the crucifixion. I'm always so moved by this time of year, but for some reason this year it really consumed my spirit. My heart has been heavy the last two weeks thinking about Jesus' horribly painful death. 

If someone close to you at all has ever died you know the feelings of sorrow and grief that accompany the days after the event. For some reason this year more than any other those feelings overwhelmed me. And all at once I found myself wanting to prevent the events about to be observed, wishing that it didn't have to be the way it was. Even as Easter Sunday grew closer and the hope of His resurrection was in sight it still didn't feel like enough. I started to think about how I would feel in those days after Jesus' death. So consumed with this grief and shame, but then all at once He comes back! What would that have been like to process? Talk about a roller coaster of emotions. I'm not sure I could have been fully present a celebration of His resurrection just 3 days after He died. You know what I mean? But maybe I could have. Maybe that was a part of the glory of it all.

Nevertheless, while trying to sort all of this out in my heart I came upon a fairly simple yet redeeming idea or thought: there is life after the resurrection. I think more times than not the emphasis is on the life after death, but I'm talking about life after the resurrection and Jesus called us to take part in that life. It isn't just that after He died He rose again, but that after He rose again He still lives! And like the song says, "Because He lives I can face tomorrow." We're not meant to dwell in the dark days of holy week all year long although it is important that we recall their significance. 

After Jesus rose from the dead He charged Peter with the words, "If you love me, feed my sheep." That makes my heart pound harder, but the point is Jesus didn't ask Peter or anyone He met to recount over and over His betrayal and death. Instead, He charged each person He encountered to keep on living, to keep going and being the people that He created them to be! Disciples, teachers, bringers of truth, lovers, friends. And I want to be a part of it. 

And maybe that was obvious, but I'm okay with it. 
(Was all of that really scattered? Never can tell. )

Friday, March 27, 2009

live simply.

About a year and a half ago I went to Kenya. Let me tell you, this country changed my heart and my life. I was terrified to go because adventure is not something that I necessarily crave and this was certainly the most adventure I would encounter up to that point in my life. Nevertheless, encounter I did and I loved every minute of it. It's a beautiful country with beautiful people. 

When I got back from Africa my perception of my American lifestyle changed as I'm sure it does with most people who return from experiences like mine. With such acute awareness I saw how full of excess my life was and the potential for that excess to continue to grow. I began to find ways to consolidate and use less in all the ways I could. I really got into saving the world in terms of it's resources. I worked with my youth pastor to find ways in our church that we could be using less and recycling more. My heart was and still is passionate about spreading the word that we are capable of helping our world be healthier and longer lasting. Not just for conveniences sake, but because God gave us the gift of life on Earth! 

The week after Ryan and I got married we did something that was very unlike me. We got tattoos. As I've stated before I'm not much of a rule breaker and getting tattoos is a bit of a no-no in my world. Fortunately, my brother paved the way for shock and horror in my family so we weren't in too much trouble. WELL ANYWAY. Ryan and I had decided earlier that we wanted to have the phrase, "Live Simply." on our arms as a constant reminder that whatever our circumstance we don't need anymore than it takes just to live. Really just doing that, living simply. 

Since we've moved to Kansas I'm sorry to say that we have veered from that track a bit. Life has such a funny way of making you forget or postpone initial goals and hopes. A couple of weeks ago our pastor started his Lenten season sermon series and his first message pretty much summed up everything I believe in as far as living a simple life goes. As I sat and listened my heart just felt heavier and heavier. I began to realize that the life we had committed to living just wasn't the current life we were living. And that made me really sad. I realized that because I have been so lonely here in KS I've spent most of my time buying mindless little things that I truly do not need. Also with being surrounded by many more affluent people our scale of simple changed - and that just never crossed my mind. 

So I'm going back to my roots these days. Finding the simple life, but more than that teaching myself to enjoy it. I mean it's no secret that trying to have as little as possible means being uncomfortable sometimes and giving up a lot of want. My Lenten sacrifice was doing away with all extracurricular spending as a way to readjust myself to my life's motto. It's a bummer sometimes - like finding sweet deals at the mall today. But mostly I'd say it's a blessing. Because less stuff means less clutter which means less consumption of silly silly things. 

That is all I guess. Take heart. Find hope. Live the dream. Simply if you can. :)  

Friday, March 6, 2009


My future brother-in-law introduced me to this site that creates an image of all the words you use most in any text you feed it. It's called a wordle. So this is the wordle of my blog. The biggest words are the words used most often and so on... 


Saturday, February 28, 2009


Just when you think the worst is over. It all comes back to get you. Winter that is. This silly season just won't seem to go away! There are 2 inches of snow on the ground this morning! It was 70 degrees earlier in the week! Why is this happening?! 

The thing with snow is that it's cold. Real cold. It's pretty, but when you go out into it bites.... and that isn't fun. I think it'd be better if snow were more like.... down comforters or the batting that goes into pillows. That way when it snowed (or downed/batted in this case) we could all go outside, sit down and wrap ourselves up with the warmth of a down comforter. Doesn't that sound like a much better idea? Oh man. I love it. 

Needless to say I am a bit through with the ol' snow and general frigidity of the winter. I think everyone is. And that's just really all I wanted to say. I'm sure everyone really appreciated those wise words. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

all you need is love.

As you are all aware of, Valentine's Day was last weekend. Ryan and I don't usually make any big deal about the holiday, but we certainly welcome the chance to say I love you in an extra special way. We spent the day roaming around Kansas City with our friend Flat Stanley showing him the sights. It turned out to be a really great day and it ended with some good time spent with Ryan's parents and grandparents. Anyway, I thought I would just take this chance to mention a few of the things that I really love.  

I love my husband. This may be a given, but I truly and deeply love this man. He is such a faithful comforter when things start to overwhelm me. He makes me laugh everyday - this is something that I think God did on purpose. My life would be so much less goofy if Ryan were absent from the picture and I love the goofiness of our life together. 

I love my family. They have been a constant support system all my life and it hasn't been until that last couple of years that I have been able to understand how significant that is. Each person brings me so much joy in such different ways. 

I love my new nephew Jones AND my beautiful niece Kensie. Who knew that I could love these little children so much? I haven't even met Jones yet, but I love this baby with my whole heart. Being an aunt is a blessing. Truly. 

I love all my friends that have made sure that I know we haven't been forgotten after leaving Nampa. To know that at least one person thinks about us from time to time makes me feel so loved. And that is just a really wonderful feeling. 

I love the Lord. He is faithful, this I know. Learning to praise Him even in my hardest days here in Olathe has been a greater challenge than I have faced in a long time, but He never lets me go through too much time without giving me a reminder that He is still near. Today in chapel we sang the Doxology - I love this song and the simplicity of just giving God all our praise. I never want to stop praising Him. Ever. 

I think that probably covers it. I love the life I've been given - never perfect, but always just right I think. Hope your Valentines Day was lovely and that it overflows into all your days. 

Friday, January 30, 2009

my 25.

This is just a thing that has been going around facebook. The idea is that you have to come up with 25 things about yourself if this gets sent to you. So I filled it out. It took me quite a while so I thought it was worthy of the blogging world. 

1. I'm fairly well known for my hesitance towards change. I don't like it, I don't welcome it and I'm terrible at adjusting to it. Something I'm constantly aware of. 

2. When I was little my mom had to seek out the adult role models in my life and tell them not to egg me on because I was so sarcastic and witty that I would hurt their's and other's feelings. I was merely doing what I would do at home with my siblings, I had no idea it was inappropriate in some places. 

3. I didn't learn to really do my hair or put make-up on until I was in college and roommates with my now sister-in-law Aimee. She showed me the way. 

4. I also never owned a purse until I met Aimee. She bought me one for Christmas filled with all the things you are supposed to have in a purse. I had no idea. Now I have like 6. Unfortunately, the original purse burnt in a fire. 

5. Speaking of fires. In the course of 2 months there were 2 fires at my house. The first one I sat in for 2 hours until I realized that something was really wrong. The second one was in the garage. Lost 2 cars and a motorcycle. Bummer. 

6. I wreck vehicles. Not purposefully of course, it just happens. I had 6 cars in 4 years. Totaled 2 cars. Ran 1 into several things. Lost 1 in the fire. And 2 I actually got to sell.

7. I met my husband because he was my brother's neighbor in college. I was 16. And had a boyfriend. 

8. I hate gum. Everything about it I can't stand. People chewing it, the taste, the consistency. Gross. The very worst is when people play with their gum OR they take it out and put it on the edge of something like their plate or cup. 

9. I don't claim to be the most sympathetic person you've ever met. It's not something I'm proud of, but it doesn't come naturally to me. When Ryan and I first started dating I couldn't handle it when he got sick. It just wasn't in me to coddle him or tend to him. This is something I have gotten much better at. But still, I have to try in order to be overly sympathetic. 

10. I started drinking coffee when I was 8 years old. After all the other kids had left for school, sometimes my mom would get me up early and take me to The Yogurt Affair (a place that sadly no longer exists in Nampa) and we would get a Sugar-Free Hazelnut Latte and share it. Eventually I got my own. I still love the taste of those. 

12. The first time I got to ride on a plane was on the way to Disneyland when I was 8. Scott, Stephanie and I sat together and laughed the entire way I think. We discovered that one person could talk through the end of the headphones they gave you and you could hear it through the earpiece. We thought that was reaaaal funny. I also cried because they stopped giving peanuts as was tradition in the past and instead gave pretzels. 

13. Because of that previously mentioned peanut incident, from that point on my dad brought me home a bag of peanuts from all his trips. 

14. My dad traveled a lot for his job. Every once in a while each of the kids got to tag a long with him. I remember one very clearly. We went to lewiston. We stopped in George, WA and ate a place called Martha Inn. Then i got to sit at a trade show for the whole weekend and eat free food and get free stuff. I brought my mom home a bag of lentils. 

15. Stephanie and I shared a room for a significant portion of our lives. In that time we came up with all sorts of things. Banana baseball. In which we kept score in one of our journals and wore pajamas that looked like baseball uniforms. The bat was an inflatable banana. We also had a secret go to sleep handshake. "1-2-3 Go to sleep!" We'd shake from bed to trundle. 

16. I used to fall asleep in my dresser drawer. Steph and I shared a dresser and my drawer was on the bottom close to the floor. Every morning I would open the drawer and sit down in front of it looking at all my shirts and then I'd end up falling asleep in it. 

17. I have an incredible amount of excess skin on my body. I'm a small person, but I have more skin than anyone I know. I don't know how to explain that more in depth but it's the truth. 

18. I am a very not picky eater. I'll pretty much eat anything. And I'll clean my plate and everyone else's around me. The only thing I really can't stand to eat is beets. I hate 'em. My parents used to tell me they tasted like candy. This was false. 

19. I love my birthday. So much in fact that there used to be a rule in my house that I couldn't start talking about my birthday until January 1. 

20. When I played basketball as a kid I was terrible, terrible, terrible! I'd just get so excited when I got the ball that I'd look at my parents and forget to dribble. 

21. I'm a very loyal person. Once I've establish a meaningful bond with someone it's not likely that I will ever go away. 

22. When I'd go to the auction's with my mom, at the end my grandpa would pay Leah and I a quarter to go pick up all the trash left from the crowd. I assume this began my affinity for quarters. Oh, how i love them. I collect them and save them. If you ever leave change laying around it's likely that I'll take the quarters. Ryan gave me a box of perfume the first summer I visited Kansas and I started collecting quarters in it. Then I bought his wedding ring with them. 

23. I play the piano. A lot of people probably don't know that, but I took lessons for 11 years. My grandma first taught me and I inherited the piano I learned on. It's one of my most prized possessions. 

24. When my parents would leave and Scott and I would be home alone we would take all the cushions off the couch, take the hide-a-bed out and make a battle zone. Then we'd jump off the couch and play guns. This was definitely not allowed. 

25. Woo 25!! It seems like this should be a really good one, but all I can think of is that I love soda. And I attribute this to the lack of it in our home growing up. Since my mom couldn't have sugar and was a bit of a health nut anyway we never had soda in our home. I just figure I'm making up for lost time. 

Wow! That was long!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


It was my birthday on Tuesday. This picture is showing the surprise Ryan had for me when I woke up in the morning. There was a big square of post-it notes on the bathroom mirror and it says "Beautiful" inside. He also stuck notes all over the house with little sayings on them. Like, You're Pretty! And, We're Happy! It was funny. However, I have to say the best part was a video that Ryan put together of all the people I love the most telling me happy birthday. He apparently sent an email out to a bunch of people asking them to send him a video wishing me happy birthday and they all did! It was the best way to start my 21st birthday. Every holiday or occasion that comes along makes me miss my family of course, but It was good to just be with my husband and live the dream. At least I think that's what we're doing.  Welp, go 21!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

i've been married a year, i went on vacation, and i learned a little about life.

Wow! What a season. We've just spent the last two weeks traveling to all sorts of places including LA, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Nampa, and San Francisco. Some of those were just connecting flights, but still it's been a crazy month of December and a wonderful Christmas. It was just what we needed to be surrounded by the people we love the very most. God has truly blessed us with families hasn't He? I'd say. 

Anyway, I wanted to say a little something about generosity. Because through this season it's been the giving without expectation of anything in return that has truly touched my heart. When I was in Nampa with my family I was thinking about wanting to write a new post and I was pondering what I wanted to say to really recap my past month and I decided I wanted to sum it up with this concept, this act - of generosity. 

I wish each of you could have the chance to sit down and know my parents. They're fairly remarkable individuals who have a pretty wonderful story to tell. Really, it's not that outstanding in the typical ways. They don't have ultra cool jobs, they've never invented anything major, you probably can't google their names and find out much about them and their wild successes in life, but they've touched and been a significant part of so many lives. And in the yard of my parents home is a sign that is really faded, but has become a bit of a landmark in finding their place because painted on it in big letters is, The Sewards, and underneath that it says, God Has Provided. This sign has a story behind it that relates to how we came about to be able to have our home, but more than that it serves as a theme for the way my family functions. We are constantly living in the truth that God has provided - and He always does. Time and time again my parents could tell you the ways that we were at our lowest point and something or someone came along allowing us to continue along. It always amazes me. And it's because God constantly provides for my family that my parents are constantly giving all that they have. Themselves, their things. Nothing is too valuable to them when someone else needs it's more. It's been such a faithful reminder and example to Ryan and I to share what we have. 

It's easy to not live very generously being newly married. You feel like you need to build up a bit of a trust before you can start just divvying it out to the masses. But then I'm reminded about how fortunate we are. How, compared to the rest of the world, we have everything we could ever need. Nothing we have is our own. It's only through God's provisions that we are able to do any of what we do and I need to be more aware of that and more active because of it. I want to give the world what I have. I want every person in the world to have clean water to drink... before I buy more furniture, or more clothes, or more of anything that I already have. And I want to do it because Jesus gave me the world. 

So I hope you had a Merry Christmas and I hope you begin to live a little more generously. If you want. :)