My Most Embarrassing Moment(s)

10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.



Embarrassing Moment(s)

So I don’t really have one moment that trumps them all. Instead I have many.

1.     I was in the theater for midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. So as you can imagine, the entire theater was jam packed, and this wasn’t a little theater. Before the movie started I went to get popcorn for Erin and I and as I made my way up the stairs to our seat (seriously there were a lot of stairs, probably one of the biggest theaters I have ever been) I ended up tripping (a double trip, only me) and spilling the entire bucket of popcorn. Of course people were watching so my trip was followed by a commotion. Not too many concerns were directed my way but more laughter and unappreciated sarcastic comments. After I got it refilled all I could think when heading back up the stairs was “don’t trip, don’t trip, don’t trip.” So what do I do? I trip. Again! Luckily this time I only spilled 1/3rd and after that I was not walking those stairs until the movie was over. (And after the movie I held onto the railing so tight)
2.     In my AP history class we had to read our papers aloud. Well, I have incredible stage fright. Even with a group of 3 people you will not hear me speak very often. My voice shakes, my legs shake, my hands shake, pretty much I have my own personal earthquake going on when it comes to public speaking. So when my name was read to come up and read I nearly threw up and felt like my heart was going to come out of my chest (did I mention that even the thought of speaking in front of a group makes me this way. If I ever wanted to say something in front of a group this would be happening either right before I spoke, or before I decided not to.) Anyway, I managed to make it to the stool in the middle of the room, sat down and looked at my paper. I could not speak. Seriously. I didn’t even finish three sentences before my teacher kindly allowed me to go back to my sit. I was the only one who was unable to finish reading my paper.
3.     In high school I was walking by the athletic room where a group of “popular” kids sat outside of it talking. My goal: walk by fast, they will not see you. That didn’t work out so well because you see, there was a puddle of water. I slide and feel on my butt right in front of them but managed to keep my composer by going into Indian style sitting, turning towards them, and saying, “The floors a little slippery, be careful.” I got up and walked away to the echoing sounds of laughter.
4.     So there was this boy that I liked in French class. I had lunch right before. I was reaching for something when my arm hit and knocked over my bottle of juice, which feel directly on my pants making it appear that I peed my self. I quickly tried to dry it and with out thinking was scrubbing my chetto dust hands all over my pants and white shirt. Yeah, I’m a mess. I run track so luckily I had smelly athletic clothes to change into. I’ve had better days trying to impress that certain fella.
5.     Once I walked in on someone I know, that I’m not related to, going to the bathroom, enough said.
6.     After a modeling audition in Japan I was walking out with my mom and some Japanese business gents and ending up missing the door and instead walking straight into the glass wall.
7.     I was in the ocean when my bathing suit top slipped down to my stomach. I didn’t even realize it until Erin yelled my name forcing me to look down. I didn’t get back in the water for the rest of the day.
8.     After recess one day I throw up in the water fountain, with a line behind me, only to turn around and throw up all over 3 different teachers shoes.
9.     I was back in the nursery of my church during the Christmas Eve service volunteering. I sat a little girl on my lap who than proceeded to pee on me making it, once again, look like I peed my pants but this time it was actual pee, just not my own and I didn’t have a change of clothes. I had to continue wearing pee pants for an hour all while interacting with church people.
10. There was that one time I got electrocuted. I decided it would be a good idea to touch an electric fence. It really wasn't a great idea. 

After re-reading this post I found a problem; the problem with writing out your embarrassing moments; they’re not as funny, more had to be there kind of moments, oh well, I hope you enjoyed reading a select few moments of humiliation I have had to endure.  

A Runner That Doesn't Run

15 days. 
In 15 days I am leaving.
That is the reality that I woke up to today.
Oh my lanta.
Anywho...

A couple of days ago I finally tied up my laces and went on a run. It has been several months so to say I was a bit rusty is an understatement. As I started running I went right into a "normal" pace, as in my normal pace when I was actually in shape. After only 2 minutes I was struggling but there was no way I was going to stop after a mere 2 minutes. I decided to push myself for at least 15 minutes and then I could walk. As I was running the thoughts started spinning as they usually do. 

I consider myself a runner but I haven't run in months, so that begs that question, am I really a runner? Running has been my thing since kindergarten but I'm sure all the people that drove by me weren't thinking "That girl looks like she's knows what she's doing" Instead I'm sure they were actually thinking, "That poor girl, it looks like she's about to keel over and die" 

That made me think a little deeper; If you consider your self a Christian, but aren't walking with Christ, can you really call yourself one? 

Like running, Christianity takes time, effort and commitment. You have to put in the work in order to see the results. You can't fake a relationship with Christ, He has to be what you live for. If you are truly following Him, it will be noticeable to those around you. Don't deny yourself the privilege of loving and following the one and only perfect Creator. Stay strong and continue seeking after Him, especially when it gets hard. He is worth it. 

Thanks, Faith and Hope

1. Running. I'm thankful not only for my ability to run but my passion for this crazy form of exercise that most can't understand. 
2. Erin. I got to spend all of yesterday with her celebrating her birthday (a little belated). I am thankful not only for that time but for our relationship and its growth. 
3. Cupcakes. I'm thankful for these lil delicious desserts and there yummy goodness. (I went to Georgetown cupcakes yesterday!) 
4. Medicine. Unfortunately I'm starting to get sick but I'm thankful for the curing remedies that medicine brings allowing me to feel like a baby elephant is sitting on my head as opposed to the mama. 
5. Scout. I love my puppy, his company and his hugs and I'm thankful that I found him at the animal shelter several years ago. 










20 Days, 10 Influences

20 more days!
 In a mere 20 days I will be living in Africa. 
Wowzer. 

Feelings:
Nervous
Excited
Anxious
READY



9. List 10 People That Have Influenced You

1. God, my Lord and Savior: He created me, He formed me in my mothers womb. He has a plan for my life, a purpose for my life. Without Him my life would not only have no meaning but I wouldn't even exist. Without God I am lost, I am nothing. With Him I am found, I am something. He has given me everything despite the fact that I am an undeserving sinner. The only appropriate response to the knowledge I have of God and His unfailing love is to offer my life as a living sacrifice and I do so with love, joy and peace in my heart. 
2. My parents. They raised me so inevitably they have both had an influence on my life. 
3. Christina. A beautiful ten year friendship is what I have with this girl. 
4. Gigi and Nat. A 3 and 2 year old have influenced me more than I could have ever imagined. They have taught me so much about myself, about kids, and about parenting. I love these girls with all that I am. They are not a job, they are my family.  
5. Kelley and Phillip (Gigi and Nat's parents). They gave me a job, they trusted me with what is most precious to them, they are so flexible and understanding, and they are amazing parents. I am so fortunate to have worked with them for the last year. 
6. Stacey and Brad Nielson, my other mom and dad. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love them and how thankful I am for being allowed to be apart of their beautiful family. 
7. Eric Liddell. He was a gifted runner that gave all the glory back to God. “God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure. ”  Eric Liddell
8. Katie Davis. I only found out about her after I had made my decision to return to Noel. While reading her book I began highlighting (a lot). She was able to put into words what I still couldn't. I am so encouraged by her love and faith in God. She is an extraordinary woman. 
9. Wynne. Her love and passion for adoption has transfered on over and infected me. I love her story, her joy, and her love for God. 
10. Alison. Where oh where would I be without this girl? Such a gift and a blessing God decided to put us together to go on this awesome adventure. Alison's willingness to go and trust in God has encouraged me countless times since we began this journey. I am really looking forward to seeing what God has in store for her in Africa and how she continues using her gifts (she is so talented and crafty!). 

Let me just say I had a hard time choosing only 10 people who have had an influence over me. So, just to name drop a lil bit, here are a few extra; My Grandparents (both), Frank Pass (VO leader), and while I'm at it, my entire VO team, Tara, Pam Work, Brenda Roda, Ten Talents, The Point Foundation, my church family, the people I had to privilege of meeting in Africa, and the list keeps going on and on and on with all the amazing people who have blessed and influenced me. From the bottom of my heart thank you, each and everyone of you, for being a part of my journey.  

This is a painting I bought to support Alison. 
Adorable/awesome/amazing/beautiful isn't it?
You can help support her too.
Just click on her name to find out how! 


Five Passions

Thanks, Faith, and Hope

1. Music by Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Etta James, Nora Johns and Tony Bennett. These guys are pretty awesome and I'm thankful for their abilities to make me sleep.
2. Speaking of sleep...Naps. Having the time to take a nap in the middle of the day is rare now days so when I get that chance I am very thankful.
3. The rain. I love to watch the rain, sit in the rain and/or listen to it. There's just something about rain that is calming and just nice that I am thankful for.
4. Sweatpants. Sometimes there are days when sweatpants are a necessity. Today was just one of those days. I am thankful for the comfort that they bring.
5. It would appear I have a theme today; being thankful for relaxing things. With that being said my final thanks is for blankets. I love when my room is really cold so I can have 20 blankets pilled on top of me. I am thankful for the warmth blankets bring when the weather outside (or inside) is the opposite.







8. What are five passions you have? 


1. Being an ambassador for Christ and fulfilling my purpose.
2. Working with kids.
3. Writing.
4. Running.
5. Clothes/Fashion.


Prepin' for Africa

Hey all!
Today I had off work 
So what did I do?
Began prepin' for Africa but of course!
I mean I only have 25 more days.

So what does my prepin' entail?

1. Doctors
-Met with the traveling doctor 
-Talked about precautionary measures that can/should be taken
-I got 2 shots (one of them was for rabies, never thought that would be necessary)
-And got some medicine, oh boy!

2. Cosco
-You need to buy in bulk? Cosco is the way to go
-Purchased things and hoping they last a year

3. Packing!
-Two big suitcases as of right now
What's currently filling these said suitcases?
Well, let me tell you 
Everything I bough at Cosoc
And a couple of skirts
Packing takes time people.

Anyho, 
I am super excited!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Exclamation point crazay kind of excited!!!!!!!!!!!
Aka a serious kind of excited!!!!!!!
Alright, enough of that.

That's pretty much the extent of my prepin' thus far
But I'll be sure to keep you updated on the happenings
You know, since this is such riveting stuff. 

 It didn't hurt incase you were wondering
 Carrying the suitcases upstairs however....
It's really happening, 25 more days! Wha wha? 




My Rwandan Aunt

So I don't even know home many family-like members I have obtained over the years
Lets just say, I have a lot 
More than I know what to do with.
And tonight I welcomed another family member
My Aunt Josephine.

I met Josephine tonight 
Thanks to my Mom's friend Dawn 
Josephine is from Rwanda
She has been in America for almost a year now with her husband and children
And will be returning to Rwanda in June 
She drove roughly an hour just so I could meet her, 
Connect with someone who lives in Rwanda
And answer some of my Mom's questions.

Let me just say
I loved being able to talk with someone from Rwanda again!
She is a beautiful woman
Both inside and out
She has a wonderful faith in God
And without hesitation volunteered to look after me while I'm in Rwanda. 

God has blessed me,
And continues to bless me, 
With so many people that love and support me.  
I can not even began to tell you how wonderfully overwhelming that is
And how truly thankful I am. 

When I originally made my plans to return I only knew Tara
(and really I only had a 15 minute conversation with her,
So I pretty much just knew what she looked like)
Now, I have Alison, Ten Talents, and Josephine. 
God is so good!
And I can't wait to see who else He brings into my life. 

26 more days!






You Love Me Anyway

"I am the thorn in Your crown
But You love me anyway
I am the sweat from Your brow
But You love me anyway
I am the nail in Your wrist
But You love me anyway
I am Judas’ kiss
But You love me anyway
See now, I am the man who yelled out from the crowd
For Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking ground
Yes then, I turned away with a smile on my face
With this sin in my heart, tried to bury Your grace
And then alone in the night, I still called out for You
So ashamed of my life, my life, my life
But You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known
Yes,You love me anyway."

-Sidewalk Prophets


My Own Goonies Adventure

Random thought of the night: 


The Goonies is easily in my top 10 favorite movies.
It's just one of those cinematic films that I wish I could have been a part of.
To go off on an adventure with my best friends is still a dream of mine. 
And I don't mean a road trip or a vacation, that stuff's for grown ups. 
I'm talking like riding our bikes and getting into mischief.

(Yes, Im copying the movie. 
I did say I wanted to be apart of it, didn't I?
So why can't I recreate it and act as if it were my own original thought?)

Just spending an entire day with no plan
 With no motive, no time frame
 Just enjoying the day and whatever unplanned adventure it may bring

Maybe one day. 
*cough* Like before I leave in 28 days *cough*
Kidding. 
Sort of. 
I mean, I'm not getting an younger 
And pretty soon this dream will become a little ridiculous, and probably unrealistic.
(If it hasn't and isn't already) 
I'm just sayin. 


Dream Job


We’re in the 20’s ya’ll. 
29 more days!  


7. What's your dream job and why?

Over the course of my life I have wanted a variety of jobs and for the most part all of them were pretty realistic. Being a taxi driver is the first job I can ever remember wanting (keep in mind I am the same child who's first dream car was a mini van because I thought it was associated with Disney and the kids in the commercials always looked like they were having so much fun) From there my aspirations grew to a mom, teacher, laywer, child psychologist, social worker, day care owner, police officer/detective (my dream job for the longest time was to be a criminal profiler, like from criminal minds, and than I found out that wasn't a real thing. Dreams crushed), working with inner city kids (missions work), and a writer.
While my aspirations varied over the years I always knew I wanted to in someway shape or form work with kids, whether my actual job entailed just that or if I had to volunteered after work, kids were always apart of the plan. Even when I was a kid myself I would cart around baby dolls and play pretend school. I could not wait to turn 12 so that I could start to babysit. Pushing a stroller was one of the most exciting things. I was weird.
Not only is working with kids something that I want to do but I believe that God has placed children on my heart for a reason and I believe He has given me specific gifts and designed me for this very purpose.
For instance: I think one of the reasons I get along so well with kids is because I am still very much so one myself. I love candyland, going to the park, play-doe, Disney songs and movies, building forts, kickball, nurf wars, hide and seek, the list goes on.
I love how innocent and trusting kids are. They face and conquer fears daily. They smile, laugh and play through out the day. They genuinely enjoy life. They are sincere and honest. They grow daily both physically as well as in knowledge. Children are incredibly and beautifully designed by God.
After Noel I knew that working with orphans was my dream job. Not because this was something that I always planned or imagined myself doing, but because in doing this I am being obdeient to God. This was always His plan for my life. My ultimate purpose/dream is to follow, obey, and honor God. He will open the doors of those I am supposed to venture through and close the doors of those I'm not.
So in short, my dream job is whatever God has planned for me. I always want to obey and follow where He is leading me, even if it's a path I never considered, a path that scares me, a path that will lead me from everything I ever imagined my life would look like. Gods plans and dreams for my life will always exceed my own desires.
I pray often that God would change the desires of my heart if my dreams are not aligned with His plan.
I trust and have faith that God has a purpose and a plan for my life. I pray that I continue to say yes to whatever He asks of me. I freely give my dreams, desires and life to Him as an offering.

Thanks, Faith and Hope Day

1. Prayers. I am so thankful for all the prayers that I have been receiving, really and truly thankful.  
2. Trials. I was thinking about how different I am and I believe my growth is directly attributed to trials that I have faced. I have not always been graceful when I have gone through trials but I am thankful for how they shaped me into a stronger follower of Christ.
3. Books. I love being transported to a different time, a different world, meeting new people. I love learning someone’s innermost thoughts, whether its fiction or nonfiction. There’s just something about books that I utterly enjoy and am thankful for.
4. Music. Singing at the top of my lungs is one of my favorite things to do while driving. I thankful for this outlet. 
5. Pictures. Pictures capture a memory in time that I can relive over and over again. I am thankful for those forever-visible moments. 



 If I ever get married this will happen


The Hunger Games


So, this is kind of necessary to talk about. 
The Hunger Games.
 I’ll repeat for dramatic effect. 
The Hunger Games. 

I had never heard of these books until seeing the previews several months ago.
When I was out shopping on Black Friday I saw the the trilogy and put in my cart.
Impulse buy, I'll admit it. 
These books remained unread.
For several months. 
Several mission team members read my copies while in Africa.
When I returned home a few friends borrowed them. 
And still I wasn't ready to read them.
Why?

Well for one, I was busy.
And knew I wouldn't be able to put them down once I started.
But also. 
Because I don't like to do something everyone else is doing.
But I always cave. 
Finally, last week I opened the first book. 

Let me just say.
I enjoyed this trilogy more than any other books I have ever read.
And I'm about to prove (and embarrass myself in the process) just how much. 

Do you remember me telling you how I am a Harry Potter nerd? 
That I read the every single book 9 times 
And will continue reading these books until I’m old and can no longer see. 
And than, I’ll have someone else read to me? 
That I literally had dreams about attending Hogwarts and marrying Ron Weasley. 
Day and night? 
Well I did and I am not ashamed. 

With that being said
 I like the Hunger Games even more.
 It took me 5 days to read the 3 books. 
(that’s with me going to school and work everyday and sort of having a social life). 
After I finished the first book I went and saw the movie the very next day. 
After I finished the 3rd book I immediately felt a sadness sweep over me. 
Than I got on google and watched youtube videos and read articles on the Hunger Games. 
That helped a little. 
And than I just stared at Peeta’s (Josh Hutcherson’s) face for hours.
And pinned every picture I could fine of him.
That really helped. 
Goodbye Ron
Hello Peeta!

For reals ya’ll this trilogy is awesome.
And I'm not just saying that because I'm in love with Peeta/Josh. 
I am already resisting re-reading them 
(I’ll restart on the plan to Africa)

I just had to get that off my chest.
Thank you for reading the ranting’s of a lunatic. 



 Awesome






Happy Birthday Erin and Philip!

Today my big sister Erin turns 24. Wow is she old, but that's beside the point. The point is that I love her very much and wanted to use today's post to celebrate her. I kept thinking about what I should write but the only thing that kept running through my mind was my maid of honor speech that I gave at Erin's wedding. I think its appropriate to share with the rest of you today.




"As I’m sure all of you know Erin and I are actually sisters. I know from family videos Erin enjoyed my presence in the home and expressed this new found happiness by hitting me with sticks, pushing me into furniture, placing a pillow over my face and telling me to go to sleep, she even went as far as taking off her clothes in order to save me from humiliation when our parents would bring out the video camera.  She was always looking out for me even at a young age. Erin and I continued to grow up but never grew closer. It wasn’t until my decision on where I would be attending college that defined, what I believe to be, the turning point in our relationship.
I never intended on going to Grace, and in my mind there was no way I was going to the same school as my sister. But as it turned out, I did in fact end up at Grace with Erin. The biggest landmark this past year was learning that there are no coincidences. God allows everything to happen for a reason and he has a purpose behind every circumstance. Though it may not be what you had in mind, God truly knows best. I believe one of the gifts God gave me this past year was the opportunity to actually have a relationship with my sister. I was able to get to know and spend time with her beyond our sibling roles and truly become friends. She is a beautiful, fun loving woman and I consider myself very lucky to call her my sister but even more lucky to call her my friend."

Philip's, Erin's husband, birthday is the 15th so I thought I would include this part as well: 

"Now I can’t forget about Philip. Another blessing that came from attending Grace was getting to know Philip and seeing his and Erin’s relationship first hand, and to say the least, I was impressed with what I saw. As a sister I am protective over Erin and only want what is best for her. I have never seen Erin happier than when she is with Philip. He is the one who makes her smile the biggest, he is the one who calms her down the best, he is the one who gets her the most excited, he is the one who makes her laugh the hardest. Philip is the one that lights Erin’s fire.  I am very happy and proud to welcome Philip into our family."

Happy Birthday Erin and Philip, I love you both and hope you each have a fantastics day and feel incredible special and celebrated! 















Africa Support Round 2

Hey Friends and Family! 


I got some pretty awesome news but of course I need to share a little story first. 


When I returned from Africa, after I told my family and friends the news of my returning, so began the process of figuring how to actually do that. I was able to keep in contact with Tara and she was such a blessing through out the whole thing (still is and will be!). She told me what to expect, who to contact, what to pack, how much to pack, answered my Mom's questions, offered me a place to live, pretty much everything and anything. The Point Foundation gave me the official OK to come down for a year. Everything was going so smoothly, and quickly. Really the only thing that stood in my way was finding an organization to work with. Let me tell you, that was not easy. 
Months and months of emailing, researching, and freaking out happened and still nothing. About a month ago I was wondering if it was God's plan was for me to just go without that support but then in His perfect timing he revealed His plan to me once again. 
Rewind a little further. Before I left with Visiting Orphans I started looking for another missions trip to Rwanda (I jump the gun sometimes). My sponsor boy is in Rwanda and I really wanted to visit him so I knew another trip would be in order. I emailed Tabitha from All God’s Children Intl. for more information on trips to Rwanda right before heading off with Visiting Orphans to Rwanda. Well, as you all know, when I got back a short terms missions trip was no longer necessary since I was moving there. I emailed Tabitha this news. We continued emailing back and forth when I told her of my struggle finding an organization to work with. She immediately emailed me back with 15 different link to organizations that I could possibly work with (what a blessing she is!). Within the email she told me specifically to contact Mike McColm from Ten Talents International
Well I emailed Mike and a few others and after a few days got a response. Mike and I emailed back and forth for awhile when he announced that Ten Talents would be willing to work with me. Praise God! 
It is so crazy to think that God was working this out before I even went to Africa. I fully believe God made me wait so there would be no mistake this was 100% Him working, this was His plan, His design, His timing and it is an awesome one at that. 
Mike and his family, along with other member from Ten Talents, are currently living in Kigali Rwanda. When I travel down there I will be staying with them for two days, having the opportunity to meet the people who have blessed me. Am I super excited? You bet!  
For those of you that don't know or need a little update I will be leaving May 14th for Rwanda to work at Noel Orphanage for a year. If you would like to read a little about my first experience with Noel you can do so here. As of right now I am covered with my living and airfare, however I am still in need of financial support, for myself, and mainly for kids at Noel. 
If you are interested in supporting me financially there are two ways to go about it:

1. You can go to http://www.tentalentsint.org/giving/ under help someone go click on my name and designate how much you would like to give (there's also a link to the right of my blog that can just click on) 
2. You can also give by mailing checks to their office in Vancouver, WA. Just make sure that my name is easy to see on any of the gifts, so the bookkeeper knows to credit me. Their address is:
Ten Talents International
PO Box 873685
Vancouver, WA 98687

In advance I would like to say thank you for the prays, support and encouragement. If you have been reading my last few post you know how down and attacked I have been feeling. The comments and prayers have lifted my spirits and I know God's working this all out so that He may be glorified through all that I do and say. 


35

 more days
 till I jet off to
Rwanda

To say that I am overwhelmed is an understatement at this point
The stress and discomfort seem to be taking over
To the point where I just don't want to do anything
(Which can't happen because there's too much to do!)

During the Good Friday service I kind of accidently veered off course and read 
2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

God is truly the ultimate comforter! 
His comfort is the only thing that is keeping me together

I am going to ask all of you reading this a favor
Please pray for me
I really need it

Thank you guys! 
And remember




Tonight I Find Rest

Have you just ever had the overwhelming need to write? 
Like writing will somehow make you feel better?

That's where I'm at. 

The weird thing; I'm not sure what to write. 
I actually googled topics to blog about, just so I could write, just so I could share something.

I have no idea what's going on. 
Today was a good day.
Nothing out of the ordinary, but still good.  

And yet, I have this funny feeling. 
My heart hurts today. 
That's as simply as I can put it. 
That's the only explanation I can offer for this very strange and out of character post. 

I read this today: 
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.” Luke 18:29, 30

This passage hit home today. 
Not because of Christ's promise to bless those that leave their homes and families
but because of the two verses beforehand 

 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
  Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!” 

How many of us have truly given up something to follow?
I don't know about you but before this whole experience I didn't have to give up much. 
Not because God didn't ask me to, but because I choose not to. 

This time is different though. 

I have heard Him clearly. 
Elise, my child, come follow me. Leave everything and come follow me

YES I WILL ABANDON EVERYTHING TO FOLLOW YOU GOD

My heart does hurt
but God is the ultimate healer and comforter.

I may not be able to handle all of this
But God is capable.
What is impossible for me
Is possible with Him. 

Tonight I find rest in His arms.  





The Hardest Thing I Have Ever Experienced

6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?


I don't know if this is a good or bad thing, but I haven't gone through too many "hard things." Sure, I've gone through a couple of break-ups, been in arguments and hurt by people I care about but none of that has left a lasting scar. 


As I sat thinking back over my life, searching for some event that was difficult, I realized, I am currently going through the hardest thing I've ever experienced; Moving to another continent. 


At times it doesn't seem real but in 43 days I will be leaving for Africa and will not return home for at least a year. That's a hard thing to wrap my mind around. 


Now please, don't misunderstand. I am so excited to get back to Noel. I can not wait to find all my kids and smother them with hugs and kisses. I can not wait to form relationships with these kids and share Jesus with them. I can not wait to pour everything I have and more into them. I am not afraid of being uncomfortable, I am not afraid of how different my life will be. I know life in Rwanda will not be easy, but that is not what makes this hard. 


What makes this hard is leaving. Leaving my Mom, Dad, Kyle, Erin, Philip, Christina and the rest of the Nielson's, my Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, cousins, my church family and friends, Gigi, Nat, even my dog Scout. Not being able to celebrate birthdays, holidays, attend weddings of the people I love. I will miss these things, I am not being naive, and that makes leaving that much harder. 


I am not looking forward to the goodbyes. I find myself staring at people with the sudden urge to wrap my arms around them and hold on tight (I have restrained myself, so far) because I know I wont be able to do that much longer. That knowledge hurts. The week before I leave I can pretty much guarantee I will shed many tears and the final goodbyes I will be a complete and utter wreck.  


Again, I have to emphasize, I don't want anyone to think I don't want to go back to Africa, because I do, but I also don't want people think it has been or will be easy to leave, because it hasn't and wont. My heart has been torn into many different pieces, given to many different people, some in America and some in Africa. If I stay I would be heartbroken, but if I go I will also be heartbroken. 


God has asked something of me. He has asked me to leave my family, friend and comfort and follow Him . He has asked me to leave everything I know and am familiar with and travel to Africa to care for orphans. I continually find myself re-reading the verse Luke 12:48 From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.


God has given me much and now He is asking for me to give it all back. I will not deny my Heavenly Father what He has demanded of me. I will be obedient and follow Him in joy, faith, and love because God has asked me to. 


Leaving will be the hardest thing I ever have to do, so while I have not actually left, I have already had to begin preparing my heart and even that has not been easy.


If you would like to pray for me:


Ephesians 1:17-19 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength.


Ephesians 3:16-19 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.


Ephesians 6:19,20 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.


Philippians 1:9-11 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.


Colossians 1:9-12 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.


Colossians 4:3-6 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.


2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.



Thank you for the prayers and support!

5+5



1.     That I have a heavenly father that loves me, that I have a relationship with, and that I get to serve and give my life to.
2.     The opportunity to return to Noel. God has worked in miraculous ways and it has been so exciting to see it all unfold (more on that latter)
3.     My family and friends. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing they are and how blessed I am.  Special bonus: Everyone has been showing their love and support over these last few month, some people I never expected. It means more than I could ever put into words.
4.     My job. Yes, sometimes I am tired, sometimes I have to take a breath to muster up a bit more patience but I love those girls with everything I have and I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.
5.     Bible study, outreach, cookies, Pinterest, Sonic, a clean room, no laundry, taking showers, blasting music in the car and singing at the top of my lungs, playing outside, 70 degree weather, my bed, writing, Texas Roadhouse rolls and butter, soft served ice cream, ice cold water, watermelon, making lists, when I hear from someone unexpectedly, surprises-just to name a few others (I had a hard time narrowing it down, but I did it my best)  

Thanks, Faith and Hope

1.     My church and their support. I am so thankful they have come along side me.
2.     That God has given me a heart for His beautiful children and the opportunity to work with them daily. I do not take this lightly and am so thankful God has entrusted me with this responsibility.   
3.     Jake Nielson. Jake is Christina’s brother and for a long time he has felt like mine as well. Today I got to spend all afternoon with him. We rode bikes, swung on some swings, played this baseball game (forget the name), played kickball and got Ritas. I love that boy-even when he’s driving me insane and am very thankful we got to spend some time together.
4.     Laughter. I love to make other people laugh and I love to laugh-no matter how ridiculous it sounds. I am thankful that God has given us the ability to laugh, and differently at that.
5.     Thunderstorms. The smell and breeze right before a spring/summer storm hits, the darkness that covers the sky, the loud rattling thunder and lighting that lights up the sky. Thunderstorms always make me want to stand still watch, and listen. It's just one of the many things that revel how powerful God is, One summer I camped out on my front porch nearly every thunderstorm and ended up taking many naps. There’s just somethin’ about em’ and I am thankful for that.