Equal Parts Terrified and Stoked

Standard

I’m sitting in a coffee shop, drinking espresso and watching the snow storm roll in. So naturally I have a lot of deep things to say. 

I’m starting a new journey. A journey that I started a long time ago and then put on the back burner. A musical journey, if you will. 

Music has been a part of my life since I was in junior high. At age 13, I walked in to the youth building for the first time. If my memory serves me right, I was wearing a blue and green tie-dyed tank top, hoping that I looked super cool and then being completely mortified when I found out my bra strap was showing. Great. Way to make that first impression. Now everyone thinks I’m a slut. How could this have happened?? In reality, I’m pretty sure no one actually paid any attention to the small, scrawny wallflower that I was. Anyways, the point of that little story is this: that day I saw the praise band play for the first time and I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to be them.

So that Christmas I got my first guitar and began to teach myself the ropes. When I could hold my own I auditioned and made it into the band. Eventually, I was leading it. Then in college I was accepted into a singing group and by junior year found myself leading that as well. I was feeling pretty good about myself. And then it hit me. Music, singing, playing, and songwriting were all things the Lord had instilled in me and I was now using them as a check on my spiritual list of accomplishments. Forgoing time with the Lord, studying his word, growing in him and justifying it on my church attendance and all the things I led. “For him” of course… 

Once the fact hit me, it terrified me. How could my heart be so off? How could I have gotten to this point? Rather than using this as a springboard into a renewed heart, I ran from music as fast as I could. That summer, I moved to Spain and had gotten my wish. There was no music for me there. I didn’t get to sing. Hardly ever. And it started to wear on me. I finally found solace in hiking to the top of a cliff right over the Mediterranean with my ipod and singing at the top of my lungs. Not to impress. Not to find some kind of self-fulfillment. But to the Lord. I was finally stripped from everything else that distracted my true purpose and was able to use these gifts and passions for the one who instilled them in the first place. 

In my move to Colorado, I had a new purpose. Despite whatever else happened. I wanted to pursue music. I was able to serve in my church as a worship leader and started teaching guitar to children in the valley. However, the schedule was more demanding than I could have imagined. Since music wasn’t my full time job, I could only pour so much into it. 

This leads us to now. The time of life I find myself in is quite unique. I am on the cusp of transition, with nothing to hold me back. Nothing is changing yet and won’t for awhile. But it’s on the horizon. So I’ve made a decision.

It’s now or never.

I’m going to try. To try and pursue music with everything I have. To put myself out there. To risk it.

The first step I’ve taken is entering into a songwriting competition this coming June. Working on songs and getting back into the swing of things has been exhilarating. Not because I’m finding fulfillment for myself, though you always do when doing something you love. But because, over these past few years, the Lord has begun the painstaking work of renewing my heart. Re-gearing it with a heaven-set perspective. 

There’s no telling where this leap will take me. I will either fail miserably, or succeed, or just get by. I have no idea. I don’t have a plan for after the competition. I am equal parts terrified and stoked out of my mind. 

I’ve often invited my readers (all two of you) to join me in a journey. My move to Spain, my move to Colorado, my snowboarding adventures and snowboarding mishaps. So per use, I’d like to extend the invitation once again. Keep on reading. I’ll write about updates and adventures and failures and of course about Oliver, my partner in crime. Praise the Lord for all he has done and all he is preparing to do. Get excited! It’s going to be fun.

Living with a Broken Heart

Standard

Not to worry. This is not a post-break-up rant. 

This is simply a reflection on this past weekend when I visited friends and family in Houston.

I grew up in and around Houston. Lived there for 21ish years. I went to high school, to college. My closest friends, my mom and dad, my two not-so-little little brothers and my soon-to-be sister-in-law are all there. 

But two years ago I moved to small-town Colorado. A move that I know was the Lord’s work because I never would have known this place existed until I arrived. It was a tough transition at first, but somehow I find myself a part of this community. 

So here’s the question I find myself asking.

Where is home?

I simply don’t know anymore.

Visiting Houston was a blast from the past. Waking up to my mom’s french toast, watching a Gilmore Girls marathon, running around the city with Jenn and Chris, getting dessert on a whim at 10:30pm because places stay open past 8 there, dancing with robots at a college party we didn’t actually attend (another story for another time). Visiting Jenn’s church and being surrounded by amazing, creative people all around my age worshipping the Lord. Browsing a half-priced bookstore and finding dollar finds at the many thrift stores. Staying up past midnight because there are things to do. Walking around in flip-flops in November because its 70 degrees. I love it all.

But I also love it here. As I type, I find myself in the local coffee shop in town where I could tell you the names, occupations and interests of over half to people here. The baristas know me by name, not only because I come in almost every day I have off, but because we live life together out here. I work in a cafe that is highly respected amongst the locals and awed by tourists. I’m a part of a church that, yes may be a little older than I’m used to, but is 100% my family away from family. I have a roommate who is more like a sister at this point. And through all of the Christmas parades, Teva games, Latte Art Competitions, Farmer’s Markets and anything else you can imagine a small town hosting I find myself wondering when the last time I went to grocery store without recognizing someone was. I just walked over from the library, completely bundled up, admiring the mixture the new snow and old remnants of fall leaves. I’m surrounded by mountains that I have to actively remind myself exist so I never take them for granted. And I’m pretty sure my car is sitting outside, unlocked, because that’s normal out here. 

So when I say I visited home for the weekend, it feels off. Yes I visited friends and family. But I feel completely at home right now, in Eagle, CO. 

So my conclusion is that I am currently living with a broken heart. Part in Houston. Part in Eagle. A part there that loves the city life and the business. A part here that loves the quiet and homey feel of a small town. A part there that loathes traffic. A part here that wishes the nearest Target wasn’t 45 minutes away. A part there that loves to explore the million and one shops. A part here that loves to explore the endless amount of hikes, snowboarding trails, and camping spots. 

It is a difficult and wonderful thing. There’s always a part that misses the other wherever I find myself. And there’s a beauty in knowing two very different places and being able to call them both home. 

Who knows how much longer I’ll be here or where I’ll be even this time next year. But the one thing I’m sure of is home truly is where the heart is. My heart just happens to be in two places. And, at least at this point in life, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  

 

His name is Oliver…at least I think

Standard

My last post was over a year ago. My, oh my, how things have changed. It seems like only yesterday I found myself in awe of the white wonder falling from the skies and now I’m here preparing for my third winter in the valley. This time last year, I was finding my footing in a small cafe by the river, and now I manage it. Do you ever stop and wonder how you got to where you are? How it all fell into place? Do you ever wonder, knowing how fast time passes and knowing how quickly life changes its course, where you’ll be this time next year?

I know I do.

At this moment, there are many changes taking place. Many adventures to come and many already taking place.

I’d like to talk about one in particular. The new love of my life. The wonderful whiskered ball of fur that has warmed his way to my heart. His name is Oliver…at least I think.

Let me explain.

For some time now, I have been looking to get my very own cat. I’m not entirely sure why, seeing as though I am slightly allergic. But once an idea hits me, if it’s any good, it sticks with me until I fulfill it. So I kept it hidden in the back of my mind, until one day when a friend of mine told me the cat her family was fostering had just had kittens. I went to visit, and that was all it took. One little guy in particular struck my fancy. This one. Right here.

Image

I got the call this time last week and was told he was ready to come home. So I hopped in my car and went to the store. I bought all kinds of things I’ve never even looked at before. Toys, food, litter, more toys. After arranging everything to my liking in our spare bedroom (yes, he has his own room), my lovely roommate and I made our way to pick him up. The papers were signed, the adoption complete and we took him back to his new home. Then the question came.

What the heck do I name him?

Now of course I had ideas. As many know, I love all things Harry Potter and all things Narnia. So naturally, I looked for names within their pages. I came up with a few: Albus, Nox, Shasta, Potter, Weasley, Hedwig, Mr. Tumnus…I even thought about just calling him Narnia, giving me the excuse to go to the store simply to get things “FOR NARNIA!!!!”…

But none seemed to fit. Then we realized his love for music. His whole demeanor would change when music played, even lulling him to sleep on occasion (a rare occurrence). So the theme of names changed to Mozart, Bach, and finally Whitacre. I felt so certain Whitacre was the one! Call him Whit for short while he’s little, but leaving room for him to be a sophisticated and dapper old cat one day. So the name stuck…for a day.

In the midst of all of these, something kept happening. The original name I had always thought of, but thought was too generic, was Oliver. My mom would freak if I named my kid that one day, so why not a cat? But I wanted his name to mean something! To be in reference to something. So I tried, I really did, but every now and then, without thinking at all, I would call him Oliver. Not really noticing it until having it pointed out to me. So I finally gave up and went with my gut.

His name shall be Oliver.

On a happy coincidence, the character who taught our dear Mr. Potter how to play Quidditch is named Oliver Wood. So if anyone asks, yes he is named after Harry Potter.

I’m sure there will many posts to be written about my little friend. He’s too crazy and sporadic and sweet and loving not to want to write about.

In all of this, I am reminded of God’s sovereignty. Wait, what? I know…my super smooth subject change just blew your mind. Please stay with me.

The timing of Oliver’s coming into my life could not have been more perfect. Underneath the excitement and smiles I put forth, there is much more going on. That is another post for another day. But after all the thoughts of taking him home before he was even born and all the waiting I did once I knew he would be mine, I never could have expected the circumstances in which I would be taking him home in. But God did. He knew what waited for me. He knows the the ins and outs of my life, past, present and future. Most importantly he knew I would need a snuggler, a cuddler, someone who needs me to take care of him and love him despite whatever else is going on. God takes care of his children. Whether it be in the form of water in the desert, a compliment on your worst day, or a kitten swatting at your hair when you’re about to fall apart. He’s looking out for us in the smallest of ways while he takes care of the bigger picture.

Our God is great. Truly he is. I look forward to keeping up with this blog once again. We’ll see how long it lasts. Hopefully for some time. So to the two people out there reading this, it’s going to be a ride. Like I said, many adventures to come. I’m not sure if I’m ready, but they are inevitable. I’ll be trusting God along the way and willing to share in the adventure with those who care to come along. Are you ready?

How I Became a Professional Dog Sitter and more!

Standard

So I haven’t written in a while. Things have been slightly hectic this past month and a half, but alas that is but a lame excuse. So much has been happening in life and it is my duty to share these things with my faithful audience of 5 as they eagerly await to hear about the thrilling, nail-biting adventures that tend to take place in my life.

Anyways, all fluff aside, where do I even begin?

After my time with the Schelters, I moved into a spare room a family from my church had offered me. I stayed there for an entire week and then was offered a more permanent living situation by the client of another man from my church. His client lives in Arrowhead (a local ski resort about 3 miles from the Bookworm) and was in need of someone to dog sit her pit bull Lucy on a semi regular basis. For compensation, she would offer said person the fully furnished apartment above her garage, rent-free. Well my name was mentioned to her, we met, I met Lucy, and that was that. I moved in 3 days later. Here’s a picture of Lucy.

 

She is the sweetest dog, though she does have the bark of some kind of mythological dog of doom. But I love her. I’ve been living her since about the second week of April with the intent of staying until the end of June with the other intent that I would, at that time, move in with two lovely girls somewhere in the Eagle area.

Well what are intentions good for? They always get changed. At least in my life. Thankfully, they always get changed for the better.

The change to those intentions happened this past Sunday. My future roomies and I had been searching for available houses to rent, looking in the paper, driving around to find for sale signs, and looking on Craigslist. It was on Craigslist that a house was found. We called the owners and met them Sunday night as we walked through their house.

Turns out that the owners are actually members at my roommates church! We instantly hit it off and were amazed at the house in front us. Not only would we have our own rooms, a beautiful kitchen, and a freaking waterfall in our backyard, we would have an amazing den for small group, a spare bedroom for friends and family AND two dogs🙂

The dogs were not originally part of the plan. But the family explained to us that they were having trouble finding somewhere that would accept their dogs. SO if we agreed to take care of them, we would have a little less rent to pay. Amen and yes. First of all, I’ve found that I love dogs. Dearly. I desperately want one of my own, but knowing that my future is in the hands of the Lord and hopefully lead back overseas sometimes soon, now would not be the ideal time to be 100% responsible for another living creature. So, the prospect of having dogs for a year but not having to worry about them after that year is over is relieving and exciting.

So as of yesterday, we will officially be signing a year lease later on this week and will move in July 1st. However, since our renters will moving out around June 15th, I may be ‘moving in’ a little early to take care of the dogs (Tiga and Toby).

Regardless, I cannot believe what the Lord is doing right now in my life. He has so perfectly orchestrated my living situations and my job situation to the point where I have no justifiable reason to doubt his plan in keeping me here. My job at the Bookworm is a dream come true. It has shown me once again, how much I LOVE working in a coffee shop (especially an independent one). It has shown me my desire to use that in the future and, hopefully overseas, with my friends Natan and Keren. However, since God has me here now, I have been actively, though not perfectly, been seeking his will for ministry opportunities and have been blown away by his provision. The harvest is ripe my friends, we need only to look and be willing to be used.

So those are the main updates. In other news, I bought a bike (my last big purchase for a while) and have been biking everyday since. I love it. It proves to me how out of shape I really am, but at the time that I am capable of pushing myself farther than I would have thought possible. And I like that feeling.

My church has become my family. Last Sunday was the first of many to come where my friend Heath and I were able to lead worship for the entire service rather than just at the end. It was truly a blessing and I am so excited to be a part of this church!

I’ll be visiting Houston June 8th primarily for the wedding of my friends Amber and Nathan but also because I miss my friends and family terribly. My family will be visiting in July, which I am completely stoked about! I can’t wait to take my little brother rafting and biking and hiking and everything else CO has to offer in July.

ALSO!!!!! MY FRIEND JENN IS COMING TO VISIT IN AUGUST!!!!!!!!…..I’m only mildly excited….obviously🙂

There isn’t a day that goes by where I am not completely speechless for at least a moment at the beauty that surrounds me. Everything is turning very, very green and flowers are blooming. It’s absolutely beautiful. There is also not a day where the sanctifying work of Christ’s salvation of my soul does not actively seek to mold me into a better likeness of my Savior. Though, at times, painful and humbling, it is truly beautiful to see God’s work in my life. I cannot wait to see what he has in store for me today, over this next year, and beyond that. May he touch your hearts today and reveal his glory to your soul.

Until the next adventure, peace out!

First Impressions and First Attempts are First and Foremost Failed

Standard

Maybe it’s just me, but I am the worst at first impressions. They terrify me and I tend to revert to the 7th grade wall-flower version I once was. Not only that but trying things for the first time NEVER goes well. Here’s some examples.

1st time driving-pretty terrifying. Didn’t make it past an empty parking lot

1st time flying by myself-I leave my passport on the plane, never to see it again

1st shift at Starbucks-My co-workers might have thought I had a mental disorder due to the failures I displayed at the simplest of tasks

1st time snowboarding- don’t even get me started. It’s a wonder I didn’t break my wrist then

Anyways, I don’t do well the first time I try something. The reason I bring this up is because I find myself in the realm of firsts again. Working at the Bookworm has reopened that painful door of awkward inability once again. Making a crepe for the first time? Fail. Making the crepe batter for the first time? Let’s just say I spent a good amount of time fishing for eggshells. First time making an espresso drink? You would think I would have that part down after Starbucks!…but nope, not the first few times.

It can be super frustrating at times. I want to make the best impression I can. I want to work as if working for the Lord.

But instead I find I fail quite often.

That is, until it all clicks and it becomes second nature. A few messy crepes down and I can make a pretty decent one (if I do say so myself). A couple of bad falls and a broken wrist later, and I can snowboard down the mountain with ease (well…I can make it down alive I guess). A couple of extra foamy lattes and not-so-foamy cappuccinos later, and I’m a barista again.

It all takes time for me. Same with first impressions. If people stick around and endure the awkward first conversations I typically have, in no time at all, I can open up and be myself. And if that doesn’t scare them off then I find myself with really good new friends.

It’s not a long awkward process, but it is a process to be dealt with. Thankfully, people are pretty patient. Mainly because they’re distracted by my witty charm and my 5-year-old delight in life to be to angry at my mishaps. At least that’s what I tell myself.

But in all seriousness, this is where I constantly find myself incredibly grateful for God’s grace.

I know it’s popular amongst Christians to say things like “Oh those Israelites! They are like soooo unfaithful”. Well, yeah. They were. But so are we. At least I am. Sometimes God hands me things in life and the first go around I screw it up bad. Sometimes he tries to teach me things, and the moment I put them into practice, it’s a disaster. But God’s love doesn’t falter. His patience doesn’t run out. And it’s not because he finds my quirks and failed attempts charming or entertaining. It’s because he delights himself in his children. His sons and daughters. He created us exactly the way we are for some reason or another, knowing that we wouldn’t be perfect, but fully prepared with an unending grace to guide us along as we find His way.

So if we’ve ever met you in person, forgive me for the awkwardness I’m sure was exchanged. If you happen to see me on my first attempt at white water rafting this summer, don’t laugh and have 911 on speed dial.

And God, thank you for never giving up on me. For sticking with me through the good times and the times that I’m sure were painful for you to watch. But thank you so much for the grace that you chose to shed on this undeserving, hopelessly awkward, tried and true sinner and for transforming me into a redeemed soul lying in wait for the day it’s joined with its Maker.

An Explanation Seems To Be In Order

Standard

Well if you’re reading this blog because you followed the link from my FB page, then you may have noticed a few changes I made to my profile. If you just so happened to find this blog due to boredom or luck (I prefer the latter scenario), then let me explain the changes I’m talking about.

Last night I moved and this morning I started a new job.

Alright! Those are those changes! Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

Ha…just kidding. I, being the brilliant storyteller that I am (and by brilliant I mean fairly decent but super long-winded), cannot make major changes in life without giving some kind of explanation. So, without further ado, let me take you back to last summer when I was living in Spain.

In Spain, I was deprived of a socially acceptable outlet to continue on with my music. Notice how I said “socially acceptable”. There is always the option of bursting into song at random in the middle of the streets, on the bus, or in the department stores. Maybe one day I’ll overcome my pride and dignity and just do that. But not then, and not today. So by the end of the summer, I began to realize how important music was to me and how much I missed it being a part of my life.

So then I was offered another nanny job in Colorado. Very unexpected, yes. But also the door God opened. So I walked through it, praying that God would open up an opportunity for me to use my passion for music for his glory. Well, the night I arrived in the Gypsum, I was told that a local church was in need of some people to help our with their music ministry. Prayer. Answered.

I visited the church and immediately felt at home. Then in November I was able to lead a song at the end of one of our services. Then I broke my wrist….like a boss.

ANYWAYS! When I finally started to recover and could play guitar again, I was asked to start ending each service with one song, with the idea that, eventually, we would start leading worship through music for the beginning of the service, like many of you are used to.

Well, it was all well and good until I realized that I had other responsibilities that took priority at the time. My schedule was changed so I was needed to work on Sundays (trying to lead worship while 4 kiddos are running around is quite the experience). In addition to that, working longer hours and having to be flexible with my work schedule was not very conducive to songwriting or recording opportunities.

So I began to pray…a lot. I began to seek advice from those I trusted and those I knew would give me an unbiased answer. Then, in light of the fact that my boss had told me in the fall that whenever I knew I was going to move on to let them know, I made the decision to ask the parents of the family I nannied for to start looking for my replacement.

It was the hardest decision I’ve had to make so far in life. Trusting God and taking a leap in a direction that slightly terrified me and having to say goodbye to 4 kids who had won very special and dear places in my heart was almost impossible to choose. But, I knew where God was leading and that required a change in occupation.

So the beginning of February came and I began to wonder where God wanted me to go. Because that’s what I had always done. Gone. Gone somewhere. Picked up and moved. I even remember someone asking me if staying here was an option and I’m pretty sure I laughed as I said no. So I began to pray something like this:

“Lord please lead me to a church that will convict, edify, and stretch my walk with you. A church where I can use my passion and gifts for music to glorify your name. Opportunities to play and sing more than once a week. Please lead me somewhere that will inspire me to write. Somewhere that has opportunities to record. Show me where to go. Loveya! TTYL!”

Ok, the last part isn’t true. But the rest of it is. So I began to look at Nashville, Houston and even places in California. I almost applied for some church jobs and even started looking at apartments and prices.

Then God slapped me in the face. Per use. He began to show me what he had provided right here in Colorado.

A church that will convict, edify, and stretch my walk? Check.

A church where I can use my passion and gifts for music to glorify His name? Check.

Opportunities to play and sing more than once a week? (The day after I made the decision to go down this path, I was asked to lead worship at a women’s Bible study at another church. Oh and was asked to teach guitar lessons) Check.

Somewhere that will inspire me to write? (Have you seen Colorado?????) Check.

Somewhere that has opportunities to record? (When I told my pastor about the changes I was making and what I wanted to do, he gave me the contact info of a church that has a recording studio out here. I’ve already had one session with them and have more set up in the future) Check.

………..so…….why am I looking at going somewhere else? Well, I’m a creature of habit I guess. And an idiot.

So I began to accept the idea that God wanted me to stay for once. Which seemed ridiculous. Because what job am I qualified to find out here? Where was I going to live? (Vail Valley isn’t exactly the cheapest) What about the family I worked for? I didn’t know when they would find a replacement and didn’t want to leave them hanging. I didn’t have a timeline. God, what’s going on?

It all seemed like a cloud of chaos and confusion had settled in front of my line of sight until one day when it all started to fall into place. Since I just hit 1,000 words, I will give the short version.

There is a place out here called the Bookworm. The closest bookstore within about a 120 mile radius. One of my favorite places. Also has a great coffee shop/cafe. Well one of my dear friends here runs a daycare and watches the son of one of the owners of the Bookworm. Through that connection, I was able to get an interview. The boss of the cafe side of things was looking for someone to start training at the beginning of April. So I approached the mom of the family and told her the potential timeline I was looking at and she told me that was perfect because they found a replacement who would start (wait for it) the first week of April. A week later I was offered the job at the Bookworm.

For those of you just tuning in, that’s God’s perfect timing there for ya.

Anyways, living situation became my next worry but God quickly reminded me of how silly that was. I just moved in with a family from our church who has graciously offered me a room in their home while I look for something more permanent. They also happen to live 3 minutes away from my new workplace.

So….yeah. Moral of the story? When God says move, move. When he says jump, jump. When he says move to that scary cliff and jump into the dark abyss of uncertainty and trust me, do it. Because that dark abyss of uncertainty quickly transforms into the beautiful picture of the certain evidence of God’s plan.

So I’ve moved to Edwards (to give my TX friends a reference, it’s like I moved from HBU to Katy) and started working as a barista and chef at the Bookworm. This is such a blessing and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for the musical side of my life. Does this mean Spain is out of the picture? No. It just means that doors aren’t opening over there just yet but doors are opening here. So I’m walking through them, trusting that, in the end, I’ll end up exactly where God wants me. Hopefully, that leads to Spain. But, I’m done trying to figure out his plan for me  20 years in the future. I’m taking it day by day, trusting in him and marveling at the work he’s doing in my life.

Hello March!

Standard

Well today was the third day I’ve had to literally dig my car out of the snow. Monday was such a beautiful day. 45 degrees. Sunshine. Big, beautiful blue sky. I took the kids outside and we basically stayed there all day. Tuesday we had a blizzard. Now, coming from Houston, I am more than use to crazy, unpredictable weather. Floods one day and sauna the next. But I’ve never experienced sunshine one day and a foot of snow the next. Since Tuesday, the snow hasn’t yielded. This morning I dug my car out and scraped the ice off, went back inside to grab my coffee shop necessities (Bible, journal, books, computer), came back out and had to spend another 10 minutes scraping off the fresh layer of snow that had accumulated in the 2 minutes I was gone.

Anyways, despite the crazy weather we’ve been having, Colorado has won a place in my heart. The sheer majesty in the creation that surrounds me on a daily basis completely overwhelms me at the beauty in the hands of my Creator. Marveling at the silence of the snow as it falls gently from the heavens, covering our town in a blanket of white. Listening to the laughing of the rivers as they flow happily along between boulders and beneath mountains. Being startled by a herd of deer hiding in the darkness, and then becoming as shocked and petrified as they are as we stare amazed at one another. Creation really does glorify the name of its Creator.

In the past month, I have had to rely on God for nearly everything. By nearly everything I really mean everything. He has been my strength and my refuge. My peace and comfort. There have been days when my attitude has reflected more of myself than of Christ, my serving has been laden with grumbling and complaining, and my worries of what lies ahead skew my vision of God’s perfect plan. But there have also been days when the peace of the promises I’ve been given have blinded me from all worries and fear, days where loneliness tries to strike but is rapidly defeated by the love I’ve found here in friends and my church family, and days when God’s Word digs itself deep into my heart and reveals new, glorious things about my heavenly Father. And those are the days I hold onto. I rejoice in the fact that, though I am FARRRRRRRRRR from perfect, I serve a wonderfully perfect God.

I am saddened by my rapid understanding of how foreign Christ is here in this valley. Heartbroken at the things said against His name. And spurred to spread the gospel to all who I encounter, even if that’s just reinforcing its truth with the little ones I watch.

With that, February has ended and March has begun. The month of March has a lot of exciting things in store. Birthdays of dear friends. The possibility of major changes. And most importantly the release of THE HUNGER GAMES!!!!!! Ahhhhhhh. SO excited!

Ahem. Pardon my outburst. Anyways, it also presents challenges. The challenge to continue to build on what God has taught me in the past 29 days or to grow stagnant. The challenge to continue diving into the word every day or to become complacent and lethargic in my walk. And the challenge to live in blind faith, completely trusting my Creator or to allow room for fear and anxiety to find home in my heart. Now I feel like the right choices in these challenges are fairly obvious (it’s the first one in every scenario, in case you couldn’t tell). May God provide the strength and endurance to chose his path, not mine.

Now, I will put away my computer, spend a little time with my new friend Anne of Green Gables, and then attempt to dig my car back out of the snow that’s been falling all this time. My poor car; so used to heat and humidity. Oh well. Happy early birthday to my dear friend Tara Barker! You should expect a musical phone call tomorrow at some point.

And with all of that said, goodbye February! Helllooooo March!