Sunday, November 11, 2012


Hey everybody. Its November and everyone has been posting what they are thankful for and I figured instead of doing a daily thing I would just write all mine at once. (And yes I know we should be thankful all the time not just around Thanksgiving :) I've been learning a lot about thankfulness lately because I have been guilty of worrying and complaining about what we don't have. We have a lot of bills but God always provides. We don't have a house but we have a nice cozy apartment that works for us. We don't have kids but are blessed to volunteer with an amazing group of kids at youth group. Also since I teach I've been blessed over the years to have over 100 kids to take care of/ teach. God really taught me that at youth convention this year. I may not be a mom but He has brought so many blessings (children) into my life and if was a mom maybe I wouldn't be able to have as much of an impact as I am able to now. Its crazy how some things we may consider curses are really blessings. I still don't understand why I can't have children and why we are still waiting on the phone call to be foster parents. What I do know is that I am going to use this time to the best of my ability to positively influence the lives of the kids and youth He has put in our lives. God knows best.

So I am thankful for:
God- I am so blessed that the Lord of the Universe loves me, has forgives my sins, and treats me as one of His children.
 Ryan- I have an amazing husband. He is more than just a husband, he is my best friend and love of my life.
 My family- I love my family and they are awesome. I wish we got to see each other more often but I am blessed by the time we do share.
 My friends- God has blessed me with some of the most wonderful friends ever. Everywhere God has sent us, He has brought people into our lives that have blessed us greatly with their friendship.
 My job- I get to teach kids. I love it. It has its tough moments but it is so rewarding.
 Chandelle- I love my puppy. She brings Ryan and I so much joy. She is as Ry says our "dogther" (dog/daughter)
 health- my health is not always the greatest but every morning God gives me the strength and health I need to get through that day

I could go on forever and I won't put all of you through that. I just want to say thank you to all the amazing friends and family I have. Y'all rock :) Love ya lots.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Give Up

Life has been crazy lately and not just for Ry and me. I feel like everyone around me is going through some tough stuff. It is so hard not to get caught up in the chaos of this life. I have been sick for about a month and it is kicking my butt. It started out just having trouble hearing but it got worse and worse. Finally I went to the doctor and found out I had a 90% blockage. They had to suction out my ear twice. Then he ran a test on my ears and my ear drums are not opening and closing properly. He said I was very lucky not to have an infection and that if my ears continued to do what they are doing I would probably develop one. He gave me medicine to try to help the inflammation go away but my ears and now my throat are still bothering me. And that is only the start of the craziness going on right now. I won't get into the other stuff right now though. (Oh but we did get good news. We passed our home inspection :) I know as you are reading this you are probably thinking about some problem you are dealing with right now. If you are like me it may even be causing you anxiety. God has really been working on me concerning that though. I have had a great friend remind me not to be so focused on the here and now. Worrying about what is going on doesn't help it. It just makes me miserable and I miss out on what God is trying to tell me. This is going to sound completely off topic but in class I've been teaching the kids about Jacob during Bible time. I was telling them the story about  how Jacob and God wrestled. That God wanted Jacob to give in and the trust him. Jacob wouldn't give up though so God had to move Jacob's hip to get him to give in. I think we can be that way sometimes. I know I can. God will tell me over and over again to give it up and trust Him, but I don't want to give up. On Sunday when I was praying I said, "Okay God. I give up." My situations didn't change during that service but I did. I finally felt peace and joy. I still feel miserable with my health and don't know how certain things are going to work out, but I am okay with it. I know God knows and that is enough for me. So I just want to encourage you guys not to be like me and fight with God. Give it up to Him and feel the peace and joy only He can bring.

Chandelle says to smile :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

One step at a time

I have really been blessed during this time off. I have really heard God through sermons at our church, sermons online (we love to listen to Brentwood and the village church), and great friends.  I could write all day on the lessons I have been taught, but I am going to try to stick to one :) I have a little confession to make. I am a compulsive planer. I don't know if there really is a definition for it or if it even is a real thing, but I am constantly planning. Example most teachers enjoy their time off but I have been going crazy wanting my curriculum to do all my planning for the year. I walked to work Friday to pick it up. I like to have a plan and most of the time I don't stick to a quick an easy three-step one. Like when I was 14 I planned my whole life. I was going to get married at 22, have my first kid at 25, second at 27... and so on til I had 5 kids. I'm not saying planning is bad because we definitely need some of it. My problem though is God gives me one step and I automatically start thinking well if God told us to do this we'll have to do this and this and this. What I am trying to learn though is to just take that step and wait til HE gives me the next step. That is hard for me. I am good with waiting if I know the end goal. I can plan and dream and get ready. But God has been telling me "No ma'am. When you reach this step. I will give you the next one. Stop trying to take over. I direct your steps- not you." My plans have really been shaken up lately. I think I know where we are going but I don't. Try as I may I can't. No amount of planning matters if you aren't going the right way. So my job is to listen and when God says move- to move. I have to trust that when the time is right God will give me all I need to do what I need to do. So this week I am going to work on that. What are you guys working on?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I watched Soul Surfer yesterday for the first time. I can tell you I was a wreck watching this movie. I was happy I was alone because I just kept crying. I want to watch it again and maybe I won't be so emotional this time. For those of you who haven't seen it its the amazing story of courage of Bethany Hamilton.   She's a surfer who was attacked by a shark and lost one of her arms. Miraculously she survives the attack and goes to back to surfing. The thing about the movie that really struck me is that when she let go of the dream- God gave it back to her. It wasn't how she pictured it, but God still made her a pro surfer. At the end of the movie when asked if she could go back and not be bitten would she do it- she says, "No. That God made it this way so she could embrace more people with one arm than with two." (paraphrasing). What a testimony! I look at her life and in a way I can see mine. No, I haven't had a serious limb-losing injury. But going through infertility and not being able to have kids is physical and emotional wounds too. (Please don't read this as me comparing my pain to hers because I am sure what she went through is much MUCH worse). What I am saving is we all have our Big wound. Something that changes us and in our opinion for the negative. This journey for me has been so heart breaking. I cannot count the nights that I cried myself to sleep or Ry had to hold me til I stopped sobbing. But I want to be able to look back on this and say, "yes, I would go through it again." I believe I have grown through this and when it's all over I hope to bring glory to God through it. What has really helped me has been letting go of my dream and search for God's. When I let go, I feel fine. I am an ordinary girl who is in pain every now and then do to hormone problems. However when I grab back onto that dream of mine, I become a barren girl who can't have kids. I say all this to say don't let your wound or your pain label you. Embrace who God made you and the journey He is putting you on. Our vision is limited and we don't know until the end how it will all turn out. God sees it all. So I want to trust His plan. Even when it brings me to my knees in tears. Even when I am in pain and don't understand. Job said "Though He slay me still I will trust him." (paraphrased again). I want to be able to have the faith to say that too.

I just felt led to share this too so I'm going to. This is kind of weird but yesterday when I was scrap booking I felt this odd sense of joy. I love to scrap book, the safe full of them can attest to that. That was not where the joy was from though. I finished one and I started thinking someday all these pictures that I print and put into albums will have our kids in them. I'm smiling again as I write this because I cannot wait. My dream may not have happened when I wanted it, but I believe in God's timing it will.

Oh total side-note, if you haven't seen the movie I really recommend it. If you are a crier like me, make sure you have tissues. Also, watch Change of Plans. Great movie on foster care.

Okay I am done now ;)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Almost There

Yesterday was my last day of summer school so I am officially starting my summer break. Hopefully that means I will have more time to relax and write on here. I do have a huge crate of homework though. So we will see. Summer school was good. My students were great. I had fun and I think they did too. So while I am sad to see it end, I am happy for a little break before the school year.

Thursday night Ry and I start our Resource Family classes. We are really excited to finally be moving on to the next part of this journey. We have been praying and praying and really feel that this is where God is leading us. At the beginning I thought I was kind of pushing Ryan into doing it, but now I see that he is just as excited as I am. We've been talking it over and God has really opened up our hearts to want to foster/ adopt kids. In the beginning Ry was very strict about what he wanted. Our age range was birth to one year. Somewhere along this road his mind changed and I think our range now is birth to 7 years old. When I was in high school I felt that God was telling me that someday I was going to have my our orphanage. That has been my heart for many years. At that time I was thinking I would have my own family and my career would be the orphanage. Over the last month or so God has really flipped that around. The "orphanage" is going to be my family. We are going to bring kids without families into our home and give them a family. It is not going to be a job. Its going to be our life. I was kind of nervous to tell Ry that but when I did he said he felt the same thing. So needless to say we are very excited.

Ry's family came up and visited us the first week of July. We had a great time. We got to explore more of Alaska. Below are a couple pictures from that trip.

 Denali National Park.
 Moose! We saw him/her almost everyday while we were in Chena.
 Having fun in the Chena Hot Springs :)
 Chandelle went through her first dog agility course. It was easy to get her to go through the tunnel. We'll have to practice the rest.
 Chandelle and the goose that bit her.

  Ry and I at the Ice Museum. Yes, I am playing a xylophone in an igloo :)
 Borrowing Santa's sleigh up in North Pole.
 Have to give Santa a high 5!

  Playing at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

just an update

I haven't written in a bit so I figured I'd get on and write a quick update. Physically I have not been doing well lately. I am exhausted and hormonal. My cycles have decided to stop being regular. So frustrating but not the end of the world.

We are moving along with our foster care applicant process. Saturday we got fingerprinted. We are almost done with the thick packet of paperwork. We finish that up and send it in. Then we have six weeks of classes and a home visit. After that if we are approved we will be licensed to be foster parents.

Also, on September 1 our lease is up. Hard to believe we have lived in Alaska for almost a year. Its flown by. We are still enjoying it even though we've been told this is not a good summer. We are trying to figure out what to do when our lease is up because we do not like our current arrangement. After living below a very LOUD family, I would like to apologize to anyone who has lived below us in the past.  Being on bottom is miserable. So we are looking for a new place which is hard because of other things that are up in the air right now.

I think that's about it for us. I am sure I am missing something though. Below are some recent photos of our latest Alaskan adventures.

 Trying to hike Exit Glacier and getting stuck in snow up to my hips. Learned that even in May you may need snowshoes to hike in AK.
 Kissing the hubby on a dock in Seward.
 Hiking up Black Tail (a  7+ mile hike)
Chandelle's first boat ride

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Psalm 27:1

So a lot is still up in the air for us right now. It seems like as soon as we get something figured something else changes. We keep being brought back to square one. Even if things start to go right with so much that has happened it almost feels like we are waiting for the other shoe to fall. I can't go into a lot of details right now but I can say that we are really having to trust God with everything right now. It has been quite the week. At the start of the week I chose Psalm 27:1 as the memory verse for this week for my summer school class. "The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid?" I keep reminding myself that God is in control. He is the one we need to put our faith in.

One thing I can tell you is that we turned in our application to become foster parents. We went to an orientation about a week and a half ago. We have been praying and we feel that this is the direction God is leading us. It is a long process and we have just completed step 2. So we will see where this journey take us. I am excited and a little scared. So much has been going wrong. I really do not want my heart to get broken and that is definitely a possibility with going this route. But I keep reminding myself of that verse and trusting God to take care of it. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Doing Alright in AK

So it has been awhile since I wrote. We have been really busy and are enjoying the sunshine up here. The sun rises around 5:45AM and sets around 10:00PM. We will continue to get more sunlight until the summer solstice in June. A lot of the snow has melted and there have been days that we've been comfortable in just a tee shirt and jeans. Its been nice enough that we bought flip flops for this summer.

Something happened this week that caught me a little off guard. I was helping out in the kindergarten room and the kids started asking me questions. It started with are you a teenager or grown up? I kind of laughed at that one. Then they asked if I was married and if I had kids. I said I was married but didn't have any kids. This inevitably led to why aren't you a mom? One of the little girls told me that I should be a mom because I would be a good one. Normally those conversations lead me to tears. I don't handle the why aren't you a mom question well. This time, however, for the first time I did not cry. I did not even get upset. I just felt a rush of peace. I know that God knows the answer to that question and when it is time then it will happen. I just have to wait and enjoy my wonderful life in the meantime.

I just wanted to write and let everyone know that we are doing well up here. We do have a couple of big things possibly happening so we can still use some prayer though. I promise to update when anything is finalized. Below are two pictures from our hike at Thunderbird Falls two weekends ago.  We had a blast.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

In Christ Alone

So I am sure I have written about this song before because it is one of my favorites, but last Sunday a specific line spoke to me. It took me by surprise a little and I have held onto it all week. We were singing In Christ Alone and I was singing my little heart out. I always sing loud. Sorry to everyone around me but music has always been a way for me to connect. sidetracked and I'll go back. We got to the point in the song where it says "Jesus controls my destiny." and I almost stopped singing because I was digesting that line. I think just about every Christian knows that but its not something we think about a lot. We get in our situations and doing what we want and I'll admit there are times when I try to control my destiny. Maybe I am the only one that does that but I do. I think I have to do it all. That if I make a wrong decision then my life will be ruined. It puts a lot of pressure on you. But the flip side of the coin is that there is peace in knowing Jesus is in control. This week when I've been stressing about something I repeat that line in my head and feel a flood of peace. I hope you can feel that peace today too.

Monday, February 20, 2012

So yesterday was kind of tough for me. I went to a baby shower at church. It was good meeting more ladies at church but I think other girls going through infertility will agree- baby showers can bring on a lot of emotions. I almost always come home crying from them. I know this probably sounds horrible. Its not a jealousy thing. I truly am happy for all the women out there having babies. I just feel left out. The majority of women at showers are moms or kids. The moms are giving advice and talking about their kids. Then when asked if you have kids you get the sad eyes and "your time will come" comments. Its just hard. The easiest days on this journey have been the days I spend with Ry and Chandelle and I'm not thinking about babies or the fact that just about everyone I know has them. I've grown to a point where most of the time I am content with it being just Ry and me but then there are the days that the longing breaks in and I just feel alone. I know I should be happy. I have an amazing husband. Ry and I have been through so much together and our bond is so close. Sometimes I think he knows me better than I know myself. I am truly blessed. But there is an ache in my heart and a loneliness caused from it.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Let Go

hey everybody. I know I haven't written in forever. We have been busy and I don't like writing just to write. So the combination of lack of time and lack of topic have led to over a month off of writing. But I am back. So I will start with an update on Ry and me. Ry was in a car wreck- praise God he is okay. It led to him getting chiropractic care which led me to thinking about going. I went to one of his appointments and he talked to his chiropractor about me. My spine has an S curve. I've had scoliosis for a long time but never really did anything about it. I just lived with the pain and didn't realize all the side affects it could be having on me. So long story short I have been seeing a chiropractor once a week for the past three weeks. He says fixing my spine could help with a whole lot of my health problems- including the infertility. So while my main reason to go is to fix my back and headaches, I am interested to see if it helps other areas too.

The past month has been really stressful. I won't go into details but there have been a lot of stressors in our lives. We've been praying and praying and still don't have answers. So we were at church yesterday and the pastor at the end of the sermon told us to be quiet and listen. When I quieted myself I heard God use Chandy as an illustration for me.  Chandelle loves to play fetch. Its probably her favorite thing other than maybe playing in the snow. Chandelle doesn't like letting go of the ball though. She has gotten better about it over time and we even have a signal for her to drop it. Still she doesn't want to let go and gives me this pleading look when she finally gives in. God told me I'm like Chandelle and the ball is all the stressors in our lives. I want to hold them and not let them go. God wants me to trust Him and give Him the ball. As tough as it is to let go, I know God will take care of it. About a week ago I got a text from a family member saying to read Philippians 4:6-7.    "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 
I don't have to have all this anxiety and stress. If I let go I can have peace. So I am trying to let go. My prayer for those of you reading this is that you can let go too.

Below are some pictures for my non-Alaska friends. We have gotten so much snow.