Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thankful Thursday: same story, new chapter, one awesome Author

Happy Thankful Thursday!

naturally this week has flown by
{and i kind of didn't want it to}
this is the week that i have been dreading all summer
moving week
 and so this chapter of my life has come to an end

i'm at that part in the book when the chapter ends
you know that part where you're kind of left hanging?...
the part where the main character who's been in a coma
wakes up and doesn't remember anything or anyone...
or when they stumble across an abandoned cabin in the woods...
or they suddenly realize they're actually in love with that person 
you've been rooting for since the book began...

you're sitting on the edge of your seat and can't help but wonder
what's going to happen next?
what did the author come up with?
you just don't know
and you may not find out for a while
but in order to find out 
the page must turn and a new chapter has to begin

that's exactly where i am
this chapter of my life is over and i have to turn the page
 i have no clue what's ahead
your guess is as good as mine

but the cool thing is that i personally know the author of my story
better yet He knows me
after all He created me
{pretty awesome}
the author and perfecter of my faith
is the one who has written my story
every single chapter

so lately my inner monolouge sounds a little like this...
 take a deep breath rae
turn the page
see what happens
and have hope that the
God who is for us not against us is the one writing your story
and He is faithful.

so this saturday i turn the page
as i turn in my key, hug my roommates goodbye, leave orange county behind
and head back to my parents
a new chapter begins
i'm on the edge of my chair, biting my nails,
my heart is beating out of my chest
and i have absolutely no idea what's going to happen
and well that's how the story goes

so today i am thankful for...
this last chapter of life
the opprotunity to work in full time ministry
my home in irvine
the 5 wonderful roommates i've shared life with
building forts of epic proportion
{and spending our last nights as roommates together in it}

watching friends
late nights of laughing
a summer full of adventure
climbing mountain peaks

breath taking views
plants of the sierra nevada's
adventuring to my favorite lake
the smell of rain storms
the sound of breezes blowing through aspen
getting up before the sun to fish with my dad
hiking my favorite trail with my mom

trips to santa cruz
grandmas pancakes
homemade pizza
celebrating my grandmother's 90th birthday
time spent with my 3 siblings

finally meeting my best friends boyfriend
dinner at firestone grill
visiting with my college roommates
new friendships made
mcdonald's iced coffee
bath time with my niece

{most importantly} my relationship with the lord
the fact that he loves me
 knows me
knows my deepest desires and longings
my worries and fears
and that he knows exactly what i need even before i need it
having no need to be anxious about what's ahead
 the chapter that is to come and 
that it has already been written
the new characters that will enter into the story
for the new places i'll go
the new things i'll do
the new job{s} i'll have
i'm thankful that it's time for me to turn the page and dive in to the next part of the story

let the adventures begin

whatever chapter you're in, what are you thankful for today?...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Final Update {holding back the tears}

Wrapping Things Up....

What a great two years it has been. I am beyond blessed to have been a part of what God is doing with college students at UC Irvine and around the world; it has been such an adventure. I can’t even begin to thank you enough for your prayers and support over the past two years, God has used each of you in huge ways and because of you, people were able to hear and receive the Gospel.

I had the privilege of ending my time with Cru on a stateside summer project and for five weeks I lived in Santa Monica, California. I am here to tell you that I loved every minute of it. We spent most of time in the community; on 3rd street promenade, the beach, parks, coffee shops, etc, doing outreaches and sharing our faith. One of the things I enjoyed most about being in Santa Monica was getting to meet and talk with people from all over the world. Santa Monica is a melting pot, full of all different types of people from a plethora of different countries. While there, my students and I got to meet and share our faith with people from Korea, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and France. Conversations I will never forget!  

All of the lovely women on project.

Another highlight from project was getting to lead and disciple 6 of the most wonderful women from California and Arizona. I sat back in amazement and watched as the Lord radically changed their lives as they learned what living out the Great Commission can look like and as they were trained up and sent out to share their faith. 

Meet Rubi, one of my disciples. 

This summer our project  saw 2,109 initiated conversations, 1,046 spiritual conversations, 531 Gospel presentations, and 29 people begin a relationship with the Lord. Praise God! This is what Cru is all about. Giving people the opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel and what a privilege it has been to have been a part of it, to visibly see God work and tangibly see His faithfulness played out in people lives.

The men and women in my Impact Group.

For all of you that have been faithfully supporting me over the course of the past two years, you can end your giving online, as I am now officially done with Cru. For those of you who are giving in the form of EFT your giving will not stop automatically. To end your automatic donation you can call 1-888-CRUSADE. You may also stop your EFT giving online ( or by emailing with my staff account number (0647322) and your giving information.  

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support, it has been a privilege doing ministry
 alongside each and every one of you. God bless!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thankful Thursday: apple pie, stitches, home depot....

Happy Thankful Thursday to you!

it's hasn't been the most glamorous week of my life...
going to doctors appointments
getting sticthes taken out of my face...
{don't worry nothing serious}
 i have spent most of my time in cars
 driving back and forth from OC to LA 
moving all my stuff home
 sleeping on my floor because i no longer have a bed
beginning the long process of saying good bye to the life i've had in this place
and as I am still processing through my pride issues
there was blood, sweat and well the tears haven't completely hit yet, 
i'm pretty certain they are well on their way.

[i love that there is always a but}
God has shown up in some pretty sweet ways
and continues to pour out blessing after blessing
none of which i deserve in any way, shape or form

so today I am thankful for
snuggles with the family pup
family gatherings
delicious food, tasty wine and warm apple pie
watching my niece's face light up when i walk through the door
and hearing her shout my name in excitement
being able to celebrate my brothers 19th birthday

{19 years ago he almost lost his life to infant botulism,
and every year on his birthday we get to celebrate the miracle God did in his life}

the relationship i have with my baby brother
parents who let me borrow their car
and who let me store my belongings in their garage
a brother in law who left work early to help my move my bed
another brother in law who let me borrow his truck
roommates who jump right in to help me when i need it
sweet, encouraging text messages from
women i've had the privilege of discipling

 2 hour phone conversations with my best friend from college
phone conversations with my best friend from high school
phone conversations with my sweet friend in utah
facetiming with my summer project roommate
my plethera of long distance relationships
and the joy and life they give me
my freesia and wildflower seeds sprouting and growing

late night trips to mcdonalds
watching friends
good doctors
getting stitches out
{don't worry i left out those pictures}
 listening to music
{been listening to Lord Huron all week}

trips to home depot
{i'm always down for a home depot excursion}
wandering around the garden department
beautiful, evening runs through my neighborhood
reading this book

answered prayers
all the adventures god has waiting for me
the opportunity i have to start from scratch
that tomorrow i am off to go run a muck in the sierra nevada's

what are you thankful for today?...

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thankful Thursday: swallowing my pride and choking down some humble pie

Happy Thankful Thursday to you!

i have to start off by saying that
there's nothing i like more than big fat slice of humble pie.

a word i have come to know and hate as of late.
i've learned i'm full of it.
and trust me i'm not proud of it
{a little play on words for ya}

god has a great way of putting me in my place
exactly when i need it.

the past 7 years i have been independent
on my own
making home{s} for myself all over central and southern california
i have been blessed with amazing opportunities to
learn from my mistakes
travel the world
 meet new people
learn to live with all types of roommates
 learn to be an adult
make my own decisions

i have moved 5 times in the past 7 years
but every time i have it's always been for something specific
school, work....

as i sit here and write this
i'm about to make my 6th move
but this ones different
{very different}
and extremely humbling
and to be honest i'm terrified

not necessarily about the move
but about the fact that i literally have no idea what my life will look like tomorrow
in the coming days, weeks, months
here is where i get real honest...
i'm 25
i left my job of two years in full time ministry
i'm now unemployed
i'm leaving my amazing roommates who i can't imagine living without
and i'm moving back in with my parents
{i literally had to choke down my pride as i wrote that}

like i said
god knows exactly where and when to humble me
and currently there's no time like the present

i'm struggling
i'm struggling comparing myself to those around me
who are "moving on" with their lives
as i take what appears to me as giant "steps back"
if you had asked me in college where i thought i'd be 5 years down the road
it would not have been here
i would not be single, unemployed and moving in with my parents.
{once again swallowing my pride}

god is good
he is faithful
he is steadfast
i can not mess up his plan
and there is comfort in that
these are promises that i am clinging to for dear life

so today,
today i am thankful for
the past two years
working for cru
living with phenomenal women who have taught me so much

our wonderful and cute apartment
learning to be independent 
learning to be dependent on the lord
parents who are welcoming me home with open arms
learning to be content with where i am
god's word
promises in scripture
walking blindly into the unknown
figuring out what im passionate about
flowers, flowers oh and flowers

being a dreamer
not being afraid of chasing after dreams
whatever the heck lies ahead
being fully known
and fully loved by god
that as i sit here and pack
as walls and spaces become empty
 i can't help and smile at the memories made in this place

no matter where you are in life,
what are the things that you are thankful for right this very moment?....

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thankful Thrusday; so stinking thankful

Happy Thankful Thursday friend!
and what a beautiful thursday it is
it's a whopping 76 degrees here in irvine 
{hard life i know}

thursday came at the perfect time this week
{yes, i know it comes at the same time every week}
but so much has happened recently and i've felt so caught up in life
i need time to sit and process through all of God's provisions
i keep this blog as a way to tangibly see the ways in which God moves
{and what fun it is to go back and revisit all of His work}
it is teaching me discipline; to rejoice and to give praise
even when life gets ugly

if you're like me in any way
and often need reminding of blessings in life
i highly recommending keeping a journal, a blog...
something where you can think through and recount all the things you are thankful for
from the day, the week, the month...
and watch how you begin to tangibly see God's hand in your life
it's radical

today I am thankful for...
unexpected financial provisions
parents who enjoy having me home
snuggling with the family pup
my moms cooking
the ability to run
running at twilight
living close enough to my niece to watch her grow up
spending an afternoon watching her in dance class

feeling my nephew kick and move around in my sisters belly
{october can't some soon enough}
being an aunt
hearing my niece say my name and telling me she loves me
visiting my grandmother in santa cruz

her homemade pizza
thrift store shopping
morning runs along westcliff drive
 spending mornings and afternoons in her beautiful garden

learning all about my grandfather 
who passed away right before i was born
{he was so handsome}
trying on my grandmother's dresses from the 40's and 50's
hearing stories about my father growing up
and of course seeing the pictures that go with them
{what a cutie}

roadtrips with my mom
sharing my hopes, dreams and fears with her
{precious time spent with her}
pit stops in SLO
firestone tri tip sandwiches

dreaming about the future
desiring to one day have a family
a mom who is willing to take me to the airport at 5am
salt lake city utah
boise & mccall idaho
crossing state lines
a cabin in the mountains
time spent with sweet friends
seeing new plants and totally geeking out 
rope swings
fern filled forests
hillsides overflowing with wildflowers

evening strolls
beers on the patio
playing settlers
bananagrams at the kitchen table
picking tons of wildflowers...and then picking more
time alone with the Lord
reading great books
being challenged to pray and pray some more
taking communion on a mountain top in idaho
the sound of wind blowing through aspen and pine trees
making new friends
catching up with old friends
laughing uncontrollably 
looking at how far the Lord has brought me in a year
dreaming about the next year
watching the Lord answer prayers in ways I wasn't expecting
that yesterday my parents celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary
{how cool is that?!}

needless to say i have a gazillion and 1 reasons to be 
praising my savior today.
His blessings are overflowing.

what are you thankful for today?....