Saturday, April 28, 2012


Dear Portland, Oregon,

I miss you. Your rain, your coffee shops, your green. I love the way you smell. I miss your familiarity. I miss all the ma and pa shops where people are family without even knowing your name. I miss your nature paths, your green grass and all the medical mar clinics... well not really. I miss family and friends and mostly your trends. I guess I shall return soon, until then, I hope you are well and your flowers are beginning to bloom.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Recap of March

Wow! It has been almost a whole month since I've written! God has been so faithful! 
We could not be more blessed by Him! 
School has been keeping me pretty busy but I wanted to share some 
fun things Sean and I have gotten to do this last month.

 First, Sean's new job sent him to Carlsbad for training so I got to 
go with him and spend the day at the beach! 

Our day started early and while Sean was in training I did homework, then as soon as he was finished we took off to get lunch in Carlsbad, then drove up to Oceanside and spent a couple hours walking the pier and sitting on the sand ;) The beach is one of my favorite places in the whole world! It was so fun! And it was our first time going to the beach since we've been here! 

Next, we have all been waiting in great anticipation for my sister to have her twin boys. They were due a little later in April but I had a feeling they would be March babies! And, I was right! They were both born naturally on March 31! Emerson at 12:45pm and Hunter at 2:46pm! My sister is one amazing lady! It was her first pregnancy and she had a better attitude then most women I know who only have to carry one! I hope to one day be as strong as her when I go through it ;) 

They are so sweet! E looks like Shawn (Amber's husband) and Hunter looks like Amber! 

Sunday, March 11, 2012


On a run the other day I stopped and laid down on the grass. Looking up I saw how beautiful the sun was shining through the branches. I am thankful that I live in a place where the days are warm and filled with sunshine. 

I thought this was cute and remembered riding these when I was little. So fun! 

There are so many things that have happened in the last few days. The last week really. Where to begin? Well, I guess I'll start with a week ago yesterday. Last Saturday we found out that Sean had lost almost all of his hours at work. Bummer! We lost almost all hope that God was going to provide for us to stay here and finish the semester. How could we since we had made hardly any money at all since being here and almost completely emptying our savings? It was looking pretty sad. I have to admit that I was in quite a bit of a frenzy... maybe more like a tornado of emotions and doubt and confusion at what God had promised us. Someday I would like to actually
 "count it all as joy" when I go through trials. Last Saturday was not the day. 
We struggled to find consolation in each other or in family and came to the conclusion that we would need to pack up our bags and head home in 5 days (which would have been this last Friday) if Sean didn't get a full-time job right away. We also weren't sure how we were going to be able to pay rent even if we did somehow stay due to Sean getting a job. The next days were gloomy and sad. We went to Sunday night Chapel at the school and waited to hear from the Lord about what we should do. Our awesome friends Bekah and Eleazar came and sat next to us and asked how we were doing. I told Bekah we needed prayer. After the service they asked us what was going on and so we told them our situation. It was so encouraging to have people surround us and lift us up in prayer when we were so discouraged. Ele prayed specifically that Sean and I would know for sure by Monday by 5pm what we were to do. We went home that evening trusting the Lord a little more than before. The next morning I was heading to the truck to go to class and Heidi (our landlady) asked if I had a second. I said yes and she ran inside to get my some mail that had come. She then proceeded to tell me that her and her husband had been talking the night before and decided that if it meant us staying to finish school we could pay whatever rent we could afford. Wow! I almost started crying right there! I was so humbled and thankful! But I had to run to class so off I went. Still not seeing how we could stay because Sean had to get a job. 
Well, here we are. A week and a day later. Sean went out last Monday and the Lord literally dropped a full-time job in his lap. He will be working at a place called Armstrong's Garden Center. He has orientation on Tuesday and will start shortly after that. Praise the Lord! His mercies are new every day!
We are still living each day learning what it means to trust God and His promises to us. When it comes down to it, it's hard. It's so unnatural to trust in something you are not holding onto already. But what would faith be if everything was already revealed? I am looking forward to the day when I can look back and see how God has increased my faith even more. He has already proven time and time again that He is faithful even when we remain faithless. I am thankful for that! 
 I know this post is kinda long. But I wanted to get this all out. I hope you are encouraged. There are so many scary things that we are called to step out in faith and do. But remember that if God has called you to it, He has gone before you and is leading you. You have only to trust. 

Thanks for reading! I'll write again soon! :) 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Psalm 73...

Hello, whoever you are:)  
I have been thinking so much lately about all the things I have been 
learning and encouraged by and that I need to just get them out!  

"Nevertheless, I am continually with Thee; Thou has taken hold of my right hand. With Thou counsel Thou will guide me, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth. My heart and my flesh may fail but God is the strength of my life, my portion forever....
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, 
that I may tell of all Thy works." 
Psalm 73:23-26,28

Oh, that I would tell of all His works! 
He has been doing so much! What a God I know and serve!
There has been a definite theme for the last two weeks that has enveloped both my heart and mind. Do I know the nearness of my God and then out of that nearness do I trust Him? 
My classes lately have been filled with amazing information that has really been strengthening my faith! I have never been so confident that the God I know is the ONLY way. For those who say that all "ways" or "truth" can be right and that there is no absolute truth, is an absolute statement. For those of you who cannot wrap your minds around the evidence of God and choose to believe we came from nothing, I would ask to keep searching. How does such an intricate existence come from absolutely nothing? There are so  many evidences all around that point to a Greater Being, and such a Being's name is Jesus. He is real! Man! I have lived my entire life believing this to be true. But before this last month it was based on faith alone! And God has blessed that faith and shown me so much of Himself throughout my faith-filled life! 
"Without faith it is impossible to please God." 
Along with my depth of faith now, I have received so much TRUTH. More and more each day I have grown in my knowledge. Knowledge about How We Got the Bible (by: Neil Lightfoot) and knowledge about the Evidence of God. Through these studies, the faith I have has grown so much!

A photo of the Dead Sea Scrolls! 

Christian, why do you say “I have faith and don't need to know more truth”? God's Word is truth! Know why you believe what you believe! Be able to give an account for the hope that is in you. If we cannot back up what we believe why would those around us who are so misled about this life, ever come to us to answer their questions? 
I am not trying to start a debate, or even conversation about any of this. I am just sharing that which is overflowing from my heart. But if you do want to talk I would love to! 
"The nearness of God is my good"
I have never felt so near to Him. His character being revealed, His evident Presence and His nature. All of these are what I live for. I live each day with a desire to simply please Him. 
Lord, today I will believe that You are and that you are a rewarder of those who seek You diligently. (Hebrews 11:6)

I hope and pray that you are encouraged the way I have been in your pursuit of truth. 
Love you all! 

Monday, February 20, 2012

God is my Refuge

Hi everyone! 
There is so much going on here. The business of classes and homework, the day to day tasks one must do, making new friends and worshiping God together in His creation, and so many more great things that I would love to share... but today I felt like sharing what has been on my heart instead :) 
I have had this excerpt from C.H Spurgeon saved on my desktop for months now and read it quite often. I am so glad I know where to run when I need a place of refuge! 
I hope it blesses you as it does me. 

"The eternal God is thy refuge."--Deuteronomy 33:27
The word refuge may be translated "mansion," or "abiding-place," which
gives the thought that God is our abode, our home. There is a fulness
and sweetness in the metaphor, for dear to our hearts is our home,
although it be the humblest cottage, or the scantiest garret; and
dearer far is our blessed God, in whom we live, and move, and have our
being. It is at home that we feel safe: we shut the world out and dwell
in quiet security. So when we are with our God we "fear no evil." He is
our shelter and retreat, our abiding refuge. At home, we take our rest;
it is there we find repose after the fatigue and toil of the day. And
so our hearts find rest in God, when, wearied with life's conflict, we
turn to Him, and our soul dwells at ease. At home, also, we let our
hearts loose; we are not afraid of being misunderstood, nor of our
words being misconstrued. So when we are with God we can commune freely
with Him, laying open all our hidden desires; for if the "secret of the
Lord is with them that fear Him," the secrets of them that fear Him
ought to be, and must be, with their Lord. Home, too, is the place of
our truest and purest happiness: and it is in God that our hearts find
their deepest delight. We have joy in Him which far surpasses all other
joy. It is also for home that we work and labour. The thought of it
gives strength to bear the daily burden, and quickens the fingers to
perform the task; and in this sense we may also say that God is our
home. Love to Him strengthens us. We think of Him in the person of His
dear Son; and a glimpse of the suffering face of the Redeemer
constrains us to labour in His cause. We feel that we must work, for we
have brethren yet to be saved, and we have our Father's heart to make
glad by bringing home His wandering sons; we would fill with holy mirth
the sacred family among whom we dwell. Happy are those who have thus
the God of Jacob for their refuge!
-Charles Haddon Spurgeon 

I am happy. How about you? 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Being Uncomfortable

Sean and I have been here now for two weeks and one day. It feels like much longer and yet we haven't really even begun what we came here for. We came here to go to Bible College, right? Well, it seems as if there might be a different, and much greater purpose in us coming here. I have always said that being in an uncomfortable place is the very best spot you can be because then you are forced to be totally dependent on the Lord and rely on His strength rather than your own. Well, that's exactly where I am. I've been heavy hearted lately about my need for Him and my lack of knowing how to get more of Him. Here I am about to start Bible school and all I can think about is going home. Why? I love the sun here, I am so excited about the upcoming semester and this exciting new adventure! But, I am uncomfortable. Everything I know is pretty much back home. Where to find the best deals on groceries, where the sweetest hiking, running, spending alone-time-with Jesus spots are, where I can run when I'm having a hard day. But here, I only have a couple things I know. My thoughts for the last week have been so caught up in what I am lacking. So from now on, rather than focusing on what I don't have, I am going to focus on what I do. It's so easy to get stuck in the lack-there-of and not to rejoice in the things that are so amazing right in front of me. I have Jesus. Isn't that enough? Though I am so uncomfortable, He is near. He is my comfort, He is my joy, He is my everything. I could not and will not be able to last a second without recognizing His presence in my life.

It's been a hard last week. I've spent so much time worrying about finances, wishing I had friends here, hoping that each day would go by quicker, desiring God to show me what I'm to do with all my time and all along He was just whispering gently to me, "Come away with Me." It took me what seems like an eternity to finally figure this out. I've struggled with questioning whether or not He really led us down here, how He will provide for our needs, if I get too sick what will I do, why my body seems to be constantly in some sort of pain. All of these things are real, and He cares about them, but He is also real. He has lifted my burdens and is renewing my strength. One of my favorite verses has always been;

"Yet, those we wait on the Lord will gain new strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary." 
-Isaiah 40:31(NASB)
Wow! I never realized that so many years down the road I would need that encouragement so much! I am so thankful the truth that has become a reality in my heart. I will become strong, I will not grow weary, as I wait on my King. He leads me, He guides me, and I would be a fool to listen to the lies that say otherwise. 
I hope you are encouraged today that no matter how uncomfortable you are, there is nothing like have Jesus right beside you saying, "Come away with Me." 
Have a Jesus filled day and never forget who you are in Christ! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Welcome February

It's not January anymore, crazy! 
The last couple of days have flown by! I felt like the first week here was as slow as a slug right after eating its birthday cake... and some turkey. That stuff makes me feel slow at least. 
It's nice that it has gone by a little faster. We've actually had stuff to do this week. 
The Marriage Cafe that we went to on Monday night was really fun! It was nice being around other married couples and the guy speaking was really encouraging. Sean and I feel so blessed that we have been able to get so much wisdom poured into us regarding marriage and communication. It was a much better time then the day before. We will for sure be going back this next Monday! 

I made this on Tuesday evening! 
It looks kind of weird in this picture but it was really good! It's a Senegalese recipe called Mafe. Growing up in west Africa, we had all kinds of yummy food and this was one of our favorites! It has a peanut sauce base which makes the whole dish! It's so mouth watering! I made it with pork, carrots, potatoes, onions, and tomatoes. Then you pour it over rice! So good! And I made way too much so now we have lots of leftovers. Which was the point.  My Mom made it for Sean and I just a couple weeks ago before we moved and so I was inspired to make it myself! It turned out really well for my first time! :) Thanks Mom! 

Today Sean and I decided to go adventuring. He had an interview this morning at a really cool coffee shop and he thought it went really well! So he came home with lots of energy. I wasn't feeling very well but I knew that going out and doing something would at least cheer up my soul. Side note... for those of you who don't know me, or don't know this part of me.... I love to go out and do things. I love being home and cozy up with a blanket and fire and watch movies and bake and all that fun stuff too! But more than all of that I love to feel the breeze in my face and have a sense of adventuring! I love going places I've never been before and seeing new things. That's one of the biggest reasons I love going hiking and camping. Exploring God's creation is probably one of my favorite things in the entire world. I would rather go to a new place and risk it not being as "magical" as another one just for the pure chance that it could be more so. I love the idea that there could be something breath taking around the next bend. So with all of that, we decided to go on a hiking adventure. Sean decided to find a place for us on his sweet app called "AllTrails" and I got ready. Pretty soon we were out the door and on our way. We start driving down the freeway and as soon as the scenery went from brown to green I knew we were heading in a good direction. We see our exit and I am beyond excited! It's beautiful! All the different colors of the rainbow and so many rolling hills! Man, I was so stoked to see where we were heading. So we drove for another about ten minutes and finally arrived at our destination. I love river trails because it's always so much greener and there is more chance of cool little creatures roaming around :) So we start on the trail and instantly, I was in love. This was the first glance down the trail from about fifteen feet from the trail head. 
"The Lord is my Light and my Salvation." 

It was magical! 
Even though I wasn't feeling the greatest, I just kept being reminded of God's goodness. I am thankful for Him today and how much He desires to lavish His love on us. I keep finding myself stuck in a mindset of worrying and Sean so graciously read me these verses this morning, "The LORD is the Light of my salvation- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1
I have nothing to worry about. Though I can't see what's in front of us and how God will provide, I believe with all my heart that He led us down here and He will provide for us as we walk in His ways. It seems so silly to worry when you look at how amazing God is. He is the perfect father. 
The rest of our hike was great! I wanted to skip down the trail and sing! It was perfect. I'm grateful for Sean to have found this place. It might be my new favorite spot... well, at least for this season of life. I'm pretty sure my favorite place ever is not in this state ;) 

Here's one of Sean on the trail.

We saw a few people trail running so we decided we would have to come back again to indulge in another one of our favorite things :) Running with a sinus headache did not sound like fun thought. Ha! I have a sinus headache. Doesn't that sound lovely? Whenever I meet people I feel the need to say "I promise I don't always sound this nasally, really, I don't." Oh well, I guess I will be known for awhile as the girl with the nasally voice. I'm praying it goes away soon. 
Well, I guess that's all for now. I'm really bad at goodbyes. 

Oh ya! I forgot to tell you! Hold on, just one minute, I'll be right back...

Monday, January 30, 2012

New Things!

Ah, meeting new people, doing new things, eating new foods, writing new posts, wearing new clothes, listening to new weird radio stations, going to new churches, getting new freckles, sitting in new coffee shops, making new friends... oh wait, haven't done that one yet. 
By now I have figured out that I like change. But, I have also realized that I like these changes to be a little bit more controlled and in some-what smaller doses. I love how the Lord works and I love how He puts us in situations where we can grow in our dependence on Him. I am learning that for sure. A wise woman once gave me a card and on the back she wrote,  
"He (Jesus) is all you need when He's all you have, and 
He's all you need when you have everything you could want." 

Now obviously God knows I need some physical and emotional needs met by things here on earth (ie: food, hugs, coffee, warm fuzzy blankets, friends etc.) but the point is that when I am at my worst I am in great need of Him and when I am all filled up to overflowing from things here on earth,I am still in great need of my Savior. 
I might be a little scattered and random today, but I have a lot to get out of this little brain of mine. 
Today Sean got an interview at a coffee shop right by our house. That was a huge answer to prayer! I hope he gets it because you all know how much I love coffee :) Oh, and we need the income too! 
I also got to talk on the phone with a dear friend for an hour on the phone! It was probably the highlight of my day... maybe even week. I have come to know very deeply the need I have for close friendships. Where you can be totally yourself and share things that you wouldn't with just anyone, and it is reciprocated. I am so blessed to have so many good friends like this. 
In the kitchen
Sean, enjoying lunch! 
Oooh! I just made chicken tacos and yummy salad! It was pretty amazing! I love being in such a tiny space because everything I do seems like such a huge task to organize. These are some of my thoughts while cooking: "Should I chop up the chicken here... (move the plate one inch over)... no here is much better, that way if I have to turn on the water I won't touch the plate where the chicken is." Or "I wonder how far I can scoot this bowl over the edge before it falls off." Or "How the heck am I going to get this food onto a plate! I wish I had three arm. One to hold the pan while I scoop with another and hold the plate with another." There is literally room on counter for one plate and maybe a mug, or small bowl! So fun! I am really enjoying being able to use my creativity on such productive things. Normally I have to go by a canvas or get out my craft bin (which I left in Portland) to be innovative. Now all I need to hear is "I'm gettin' kinda hungry. What's for lunch?" and the creative juices begin flowing from my very fingertips. Oh the little things in life :) 
I also got to talk with my very awesomely pregnant-with-twin-boys sister Amber Dawn. She is always such a breath of fresh air to talk with and understands more than anyone how exciting the adventure I'm on is. Since we grew up moving all over, never being in place for too long, we both have this great desire and pull toward things that are a little crazy and adventuresome. She's great. 
Well, I guess the theme for today is to remember how much the Lord is in control and how much relying on Him is part of my everyday and that I have dear and sweet people all around me who love me and mostly love God. I'm thankful! 
Now off to get ready to go out with our landlord and lordess :) They invited us to come to their church tonight for a marriage series! So fun! I love marriage. Seriously though, I wouldn't love it as much if I didn't know Jesus or wasn't married to Sean! Again, I am thankful!
What are you thankful for today? 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Little Tiny Kitchen

This was the first time I used the stove top and our new rice cooker! This is literally the only counter space I have. And behind the rice cooker is the sink, kitchen and bathroom (they share jobs). It's so tiny and cute and I love it! Not having an oven makes cooking interesting, totally do-able, just interesting. If anyone as any good soup or rice dish recipes that require cheap and few ingredients, I'd love to hear 'em. Thanks! ;)


So, here it is: my first blog. Oh how I’ve despised the thought of keeping up with a blog, being obligated somehow (by ALL the people I’m sure that will be reading this) to it and to feel guilty as soon as I miss a few weeks of writing. I love writing. Mostly for the sake of getting all my thoughts out on “paper” and being able to look back and see what has happened in more detail. My memory is not that good anymore. I blame my genes. So here I will be able to record all the happenings in the lives of my amazing husband and myself so that someday we can look back and say “wow! So glad we’re through that.” But seriously we are so excited about this adventure down in sunny southern California and are learning each day more of what it means to be a real Jesus follower.
Today was Sunday. We went to church for the first time since down here. It was weird. Not weird in the sense you might think. The service was actually quite normal, the people friendly, the worship Spirit filled and the pastor funny and yet serious. It was weird because it was the first time in a very long time that I didn’t know anyone. I knew Sean, but no one else. We walked in and got our seats. I went to the ladies room (I have a cold and have to blow my nose every three minutes). I saw a girl in there who was also blowing her nose. Normally I would have made some sort of silly comment like, “looks like we both have snotty noses” or “haha, you too?” but no. I just smiled and continued trying to make sure I left no remnants in my nasal passageways. Then quickly left the room thinking to myself “I really should have said something, right?” Ha! This is what it will be like until I meet people. I’m not really a shy person but I guess my childhood shyness still abides in me somewhere.
Since we got here we have done a few fun things:
Gone job hunting (three times), grocery shopping (with our awesome $50 a week budget), went for a couple jogs, hiked up at Santa Rosa Plateau, talked with our landlords and their kids, made breakfast, lunch and dinner a total of ten times so far (if you were counting we have been here since Tuesday night and all the other meals we ate out ;), church today, and watched about a dozen episodes of the Office.
It’s been quite uneventful. Every day Sean and I look at each other and say, “we need jobs.” I don’t think I’ve ever been so bored in my life. Not to be ungrateful, I am just really excited for school to start. Then I will probably think, how did I not appreciate all that free time. Truth is, I like to be busy. Rest is great, but too much of it is a pain.
I miss my friends. This one (pretty girl with me below) in particular. I know it seems like I’m complaining a lot. My next post will be all about how much I’m enjoying the amazing sunshine here and how thankful I am for the opportunity to go back to school and further more to do all of this with my best friend in the whole world! I really do love my life! This season will just be different, and different in a great way! I hope that I make friends soon. And I hope that they get my weird humor. I hate it when people think I’m serious when I’m joking. Ha! K, I guess I will write again soon. All you lovely people out there have a great day! ;)