Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Thirteen Things of 20-13!

1. Celebrated my 22nd birthday with breakfast in bed from McDonald's in India (and an awesome dance party with my new Indian friends)


2. Ate a traditional meal prepared by the family of a friend I met in India, after being invited into their home

3. Drank a Guinness at a pub in Ireland

4. Ran my second Flying Pig Marathon (this time 13.1 miles with my best friend Alyse Zook)

5. Finished my undergraduate classes, started rotations as a dietetic intern, and applied for graduation!

6. Went on my first date (and not to mention a blind date!)

7. Spent countless hours as a Building Supervisor at the Rec Center

8. Played against a retired WNBA player who leads women's basketball in scoring (Katie Smith)

9. Lots and lots of babysitting

10. Watched my brother graduate from High School

11. Celebrated the marriage of Robin and Jordan Kiphart

12. Went to Michelle Geygan's bachelorette party to yet again celebrate one of my friends getting married!

13. Said "yes" to being a bridesmaid in Alyse Zook and Matt DeLange's wedding!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Day 1.

That's right, this is day one. 

Day one of truly giving thought to what I will do with my life after I graduate in April. Bear with me though because this is going to be a long and slow process; don't say I didn't warn you. What I'm hoping for is that there will be many more days over the next few weeks/months just like today. Days where I'm spending time without any distractions, really searching for the right decision for my future.

It seems fitting that the first thing I should do is list my options (or what I currently see as my options) and start listing pros and cons. This list is definitely a work in progress. I'm sure I will be adding and taking away things from the list as times goes on.

But without further a do, here we go.

Option #1- Graduate, study for my RD exam, pass exam, AND find a job as a dietitian

PROS: make $, start paying off student loans, use my degree, immediately start getting experience
CONS: not sure what area of nutrition best suits me, worried I won't "enjoy work", not full time ministry

Option #2- STINT, spend a year overseas doing ministry

PROS: Get to travel, embrace a culture that I LOVE, share Jesus with people, has eternal significance
CONS: RAISING SUPPORT, not career related/not using my degree, leaving my family/friends for a year, out of the norm, will be uncomfortable at times

Option #3- intern with CRU, stay at UC doing campus ministry 

PROS: the staff team is AWESOME, passionate about the ministry, share Jesus with people, help meet a need for women on campus
CONS: RAISING SUPPORT, fear of staying in the states and doing ministry will be a constant reminder that I'm not using my degree

Option #4- AmeriCorps or something similar for a year

PROS: getting to love and serve people in need, I'd receive a stipend
CONS: don't know enough about programs and opportunities yet

Where is my trust?

Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
    and makes flesh his strength,
    whose heart turns away from the Lord.
He is like a shrub in the desert,
    and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
    in an uninhabited salt land.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
    whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
    that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
    for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
    for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:5-8

Sunday, December 8, 2013


I want to stop just saying "this is going on" and "that is going on" and instead I want to actually start doing something about the things going on in my life. 

I want to welcome God into my messy world, all while knowing that He isn't intimidated by it. In reality, an invitation is all He really wants anyway. 

I would say that there are two things going on in my life right now that I can't seem to get off my mind. The first being that I'm single and surrounded by so many friends who are in wonderful relationships. It's true, I have an ever growing desire to invite a guy into my walk with the Lord, not because I need a guy to be happy, but because I simply want it so badly. The second thing being that I graduate in April and have no idea what I want to do with my life. I desperately want clarity in whether I should pursue a job using my degree, or if I should take a leap of faith in the direction of ministry.

In reality though, what I want even more than these things is to see myself truly trust God with them.

When I started to pray about my relationship status and my future the idea of security came to mind. A quick google search lead me to this....

By definition security is:
 1. Freedom from risk or danger; safety.
 2. Freedom from doubt, anxiety, or fear; confidence. 
 3. Something that gives or assures safety.

Pretty incredible that one simple word can pack so much punch. I mean seriously, what girl doesn't experience doubt, fear or lack of confidence at some point? For me, I think many of my circumstances relate to my longing for a sense of security. My desire to find a guy who wants to pursue me, and who wants to lead me and point me to Jesus sounds pretty appealing. If I could just have that, then I'd surely be secure. Or how about my future? If I could just somehow know this instant what to do with the rest of my life, then I could definitely feel secure, right?

Obviously, we all know life doesn't work that way.

"If onlys" offer the promise that things will be better if only we had that one thing, but in reality once we get it there's always something else that we need.

Friends, if there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that the promises God offers us are different. They do fulfill. They do offer us security, and there's no "if onlys". God's love for us is abounding. His acceptance of us is complete. If we believe in Him, we are secure and free.

If I can truly trust in God's ability to offer me clarity, then I know I'll be okay.  If I can without a doubt believe that my security and confidence comes from God I know that that will overflow into other areas of my life.

God offers me security every single day. He offers you security every single day. All we need to do my friends is take him up on his offer.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

2 years in .

Two years into my twenties and I'm still single.

Better yet, five years into college and there's still no relationship. In many ways not having a guy in my life plays a huge part in where I'm at right now. But the truth is, it's not just about my relationship status. For three or so weeks I've really been struggling with singleness and with my purpose. Maybe a better way of saying it is that I've been struggling with life. A little dramatic, yes. But let's face it, life is good, but it's hard too.

There are a few realities when it comes to being single and living alone. You grocery shop on your own, you cook and eat all of your meals alone, you have to suck it up and kill scary bugs on your own, you don't talk about your day with anyone most evenings, you spend a lot of time on social media, and you get incredibly excited for the weekend so that you can finally see friends.

I absolutely love living alone, but being single not so much. Even though I didn't choose it I'm incredible thankful for being single throughout college.  I learned to find joy in my creator, joy in my friends, and joy from doing the very things that I love. It was challenging, but ultimately great for maturing and growing. They key word though is was.

Quite frankly, I'm tired of being challenged in this area. I'm tired of repeating the same christian-like truths. I know that I should be content in my relationship with God without a man, I know that I'm fearfully and wonderfully made, and I know that God has a plan for me. What I don't know is when I will get to experience the joy of inviting a man into my walk with the Lord.

Today at church I was challenged to write down the top five things that I feel I need to obtain before becoming an adult. My five things?

1. Budgeting my $
2. Getting better at confrontation
3. Learning to manage stress better
4. Figuring out my future, my purpose
5. Finding a man

Even after re-listing these five things now, I'm still posed with the question "When will I get to experience the joy of inviting a man into my walk with the Lord?"

For me, becoming an adult goes hand in hand with figuring out what I want to do with my future. Right now I'm completing a 12-week hospital rotation as a part of my dietetic internship. Up until this point, medical nutrition was my plan. It was my go-to, and my goal per say. The last few weeks have been so hard for me because I'm struggling with getting excited about work. I find my self wishing the rotation was over, and wishing that I didn't have to go in every morning. 

After spending a summer abroad and falling in love a second time with South Asia I can't help but doubt where it is that I'm supposed to be. Did I like being overseas so much simply because it was easier then dealing with the stresses of life here? Or, did I fall in love with it because I finally saw and experienced something that I truly cared about and because for the first time I felt totally and completely "in my element"? I found so much joy this summer in loving people and in being a light to women who have lost hope because of the awful reality of sex-trafficking. The reality of my experience at the hospital right now has been stressful, challenging, and just "okay". It's obvious which brings me more joy, but it's also obvious which one I trust the Lord more with.

The reality is, regardless of which I "liked" better I need to take both to the Lord equally.

The big question:

How do you identify the difference between faithfully following Jesus and going where He leads you, as compared to simply running away from something that's challenging? 

Also, how do I decide on my future when there is an underlying feeling of wanting to invite a guy into that decision? I don't want a guy just because I think it will make these struggles go away (they won't), but because I think that there is something beautiful about learning to trust God and follow his direction within the context of a relationship.

I so badly want to invite a guy into my "list". I want to invite a guy into my 20s. Not only are these areas that I need to improve in as I become an adult, but they are areas where I desperately need Christ more. I need to learn to budget my money better, I need to get better at being assertive and handling confrontation, I need to learn to cope with stress without turning to food, and I need to prayerfully consider what next year looks like for me.

Even through writing this it's clear that single or not single, I need to be taking all of these to Jesus. I need to be trusting that His plans are far better than mine, and that He loves me far more than I could ever imagine.

I want to be living in light of the Gospel every single day.

I want to be filled with joy despite doubt, despite uncertainty of my next year, and despite my relationship status.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


In just the last few days I have been experiencing the richness of God’s love through other people. I am incredibly thankful for those people in my life that have devoted their lives to ministry and missions.

I believe that whether in formal ministry or not, we all are participating in missions every single day if we choose to follow Jesus. With that being said, recently I have just felt so encouraged by those that have given up so many other things in order to commit themselves to full time ministry.

I am incredibly blessed by the Staff of Cincy Metro Cru. These individuals have invested so much into college ministry, and have chosen to spend their time and energy sharing Jesus with college students. It is immeasurable just how much they do for God’s kingdom, and my life is a clear reflection of that. I would not know the Lord as well as I do today, and I would not care so much for other people if it weren’t for them.

I have also recently been trying to get more plugged into my church in Cincinnati.  It’s been hard to get involved in my church when during this season of my life I’m so invested in campus ministry. But this past week I did get the opportunity to talk with the youth pastor, and a few other church members about my heart for missions. Campus ministry has been such a blessing in my life, but it was really neat to experience that same Christ-centeredness in my church family. It is an incredible feeling when you experience a multi generational church whose hearts are just as excited and passionate about ministry and missions as those of college students!

One thing that I’ve definitely learned over the past year or so is that the Christian church isn’t perfect. We are imperfect people trying to love a perfect God and that means we are going to disappoint people sometimes. I’m not saying that my campus ministry and that my church are perfect, but what I am trying to communicate is that both of these things are bringing light and encouragement to people’s lives because of the very people who invest in them.

This brings me to another group of people that constantly encourage me because of their faithfulness in ministry-- my friends. I have an incredible roommate who loves her friends unconditionally and is showing them the life that Jesus can offer them. I know that God is going to use her in big ways as she continues to be obedient to Him. I also have a few close friends who build me up and who point me to Christ every single day. I am in awe of the way that they love me and love God, and I am so thankful for them. 

God is so much bigger than we sometimes think. He doesn’t need people like my pastor, my discipler, or my friends to draw people into His Kingdom, but He is so pleased when these people choose to do so.

Today, I am committing my life to whatever God may have planned for me. The workplace, ministry, missions, whatever. I want to show Christ’s love to people, just like so many people have done for me. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Choosing to move forward into 2013

I’m not going to lie, this blog post was supposed to be something completely different. I sat down a few days ago, excited and anxious to write about my awesome Christmas break. With the start of 2013 I wanted to start documenting my attempt at Living Loved again; my attempt at describing how my relationship with the Lord during college is shaping who I am becoming. I had a whole list of commitments that I had made for 2013 (I don’t like the term “New Years Resolution” so I’m determined not to use it) and I was excited to share those with you. Among the list were things like starting a budget, completing the 2013 Flying Pig Marathon, traveling overseas this summer, and starting my dietetic internship. Exciting stuff, isn’t it?

But once again, to be completely honest, these first two weeks back in classes haven’t been so great. I’m not exactly feeling those same emotions of happiness and excitement, but instead I’m experiencing sadness, hurt, and confusion. In the midst of these feelings, I still have so many things to be thankful for, and so many fun and exciting things going on in my life. I wanted to make sure to tell you that too, because I truly am so blessed with my family, friends, and coworkers and I’m already having such a blast this semester!

Today, I am simply continuing to take steps forward. Despite tragedy that has hit the UC community, despite the ugliness of sin that surrounds a situation at my church back home, and despite the sad news I heard about one of my heroes with Team in Training this morning, I recognize that I still must choose to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. Today, I am choosing to keep running, to keep working, to keep serving the Lord, and to keep loving. I’m going to keep running with Team in Training for those individuals who have battled and are battling leukemia and lymphoma. I’m going to keep working at the Rec, this incredible place that I call my second home, prepared and ready to respond to emergencies if I need to. I’m going to continue serving the Lord, sharing and showing my faith despite the sinful and broken world that tries to cover up the hope that is extended to everyone through Jesus. And I’m going to continue to pray and love, relentlessly.

If we aren’t careful, we can easily start to believe that God changes. Because of the tragedy and difficult times that we experience, we can start to think that God has changed too, and we begin to believe that He is just a little bit less caring than he was yesterday.

Today, I am choosing to confidently believe that God does not change in his person, promises, or purposes. His character is constant, His promises of life and hope are offered and upheld every single day, and His purpose of pursing us and loving us continuously will never change.

My challenge to you is to keep moving forward no matter how hard the circumstances may be. I even invite you to walk with me and to put your hope in Jesus.