Humbly bowing at the throne of grace.

even when it hurts, even when its hard, even when it all just falls apart Lord my cry for the campus is that we would turn to you. Today I got ready in 10 minutes to make it to praise chapel and I was so blessed to have been prompted to get up.

Lord I want to see a movement on this campus that is filled with both spirit and truth. Lord to see, know, hear, believe and seek after the truth we must be filled with the Holy Spirit; we must listen and obey to the calling we have been given. Lord my cry is filled with tears as I see the brokenness all over the place. The more I see your truth the more I realise how empty I was in highschool chasing after things that only brought me more despair. Papa I pray that we would see the truth and that it would set us free from the bondage of sin and death. Lord let our hearts be an over flow pointing to you and let our failures show that only you are good enough.

As I seek more of you Jesus and see how I fall short daily, I see how often I really am hurting when my trust is not in you I think, how much hurt is behind the scenes.. how much hurt am I not aware of going on on this campus.

Lord I want to give my heart and my soul to this campus but finances are hard. I don’t know how to pay for anything, I need help and so do so many other students who need to be in the Christian atmosphere to hear the gospel. Hebrews three says we need daily encouragement of hearing truth constantly but so many students can’t come here or end up leaving for financial reasons. Lord help us to see where you guide you provide.

I want to trust you with my whole heart and Lord I pray we would follow your promptings all the days of our lives.

Thank you Jesus for all that you have blessed me with; both as a believer and as an american. Papa thank you for our worldly freedoms and for our treasures and life in you. Father thank you for my friends who speak truth boldly in love. Thank you for sanctification and for being made pure. I know you comfort when I am hurting and I know you are there when it feels like my closest friends have abandoned me.

I love you so much, thank you for loving me first

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When God Matters.. Money matters.. (and so does everything else.)

As a highschool student I was told when I turned 16 I needed to get a job and start saving and paying for my own things. I had to pay for half of my phone bill and both for my own gas when I got a car (senior year of highschool) and for the insurance. I was given a car that I used for a year and then sold for a few hundred dollars and bought my own car for 1,500. No, its not a nice car but it gets me from A to B. I drive a baby blue ’91 century buick that has a smashed front. Lets talk about the epitomy of a ghetto car. Not only does it roll big with 6 seat belts but it also is rusted. The thing is, I’m proud of this car, because it is all mine. I paid for it, I continue to pay for it monthly (gas and insurance) and because I worked hard for it. I have nothing to be ashamed of, most of my friends cars are on loan or their parents gave it to them.

When I started working My dad and I sat down and talked about checking accounts and saving accounts and credit cards (how I didnt need one) and how to think for life in advance.

I was told that I always needed to have at least 100 dollars in my checking account for emergencies and was not alloud to go below it. My dad laid out a schedule for me showing if I worked A, B, or C amount of hours and decided to save X, Y, or Z, percent of the money made each month (minus my needs/expenses; gas, insurance, phone) where I would be at for saving for school. He updated the list as I made the money and showed me what schools I could afford for college depending on what I made and saved. He said that he would match whatever I saved. This was motivation to work hard to pay for college. Obviously giving up free time during school breaks and the summer to work for the future.

I definitely could have spent a lot more time saving and preparing for college but its a hard thing to do when you love highschool and arent really sure what college is like. When you think about college in highschool, at least as I imagined it all, to be just academics when saving for it.

I hope that my siblings have seen from me that working hard first, ends up paying off and second, is really smart. Looking back, if I would have known what college would be like in highschool I would have saved a lot more to have more fun these last four years. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had more than enough fun but I’ve also gone through some rough things and times financial stressing out about paying bills.

I came into freshman year with enough from graduation presents and what I had saved for the last few years to pay for the first semester here at Northwestern. My parents gave me a grand each semester to help but did NOT co-sign the parent plus loan. I took out the student loan and got grants and scholarships for my grades, especially coming in with a few AP credits from highschool.

I got a job near northwestern (lexington Perkins) in August to start working before school kicked off and although I didnt have a car my freshman year in the fall I lived at arden and would walk ten minutes to work each time I was scheduled. I worked maybe 10-15 hours a week on top of a 15 credit load and 15+ hours a week of soccer. I couldnt do the job anymore by mid november and my mom and I went out for lunch and she broke the news that realistically I couldnt stay at Northwestern because I couldnt afford it. I honestly thought my parents would pick up the slack I couldnt pay but she said no and they held to their word of not handing me my education, instead making me work for it. I cried and cried having to leave and felt like I would lose all my friends I had made.

I had to move home and find a job in Apple Valley (half hour south of the twin cities) and decided to go to a community school. I moved home and started hostessing at Ruby Tuesdays 4 shifts a week; one of them being wed nights. I would get off work at 8 o clock and drive to Northwestern to go to Campus Outreach’s (CO) wednesday night youth group events on campus, sleep over at my captains house or friends dorms and go to chapel in the morning and then drive to my first class at noon back near my house. I came up for some random basketball games and spring training with the soccer team but worked really hard at home so that I could come back. I decided to raise support to go on the summer project with CO and worked there all summer. We got home and the first day back I job hunted all day for 3 days so find something up in roseville for the school year.

I ended up getting offered a job in byerlys bakery at 5 am till 10am everyday. I decided to take Distance Education (online) classes (12 credits) enough to play soccer but so that I could work as well. I lived in a house off campus and paid rent so doing DE was much cheaper and I could do an entire year through that program. I took out half the loan for the year (student loan) and paid the rest out of my own pocket. Everyday I got up at 415 to get ready for work and spend time with the lord, went to work at five untill 10, went to chapel and then came home to nap before cranking out my homework. I would go to practice and then come home to eat and then pretty much crash to wake up the next day all over again. Multiple nights I would cry and cry and cry stressing out about how to pay for gas or food and tuition for the next semester. All the while I had continued saving not only for the next semester but put money into my “college fund” my parents had started for me when I was little. It was building interest and was at 7 grand but I was saving that for the spring of my senior year.  I sometimes walked from county rd D or biked to work because I didn’t have any gas. Some game weekends I worked 5 am till 10 and then would drive to school or mankato alone so I could still work on game days. (an incredibly tear filled time of my life.) I felt distance from the team but knew I had to make it work if I wanted to stay at UNW and play soccer.

I had built such close friendships and bonds with my teammates that I couldn’t bare the possibility of not playing with them for even a season. There were multiple times I called coach telling him I thought I would have to quit, through the tears, but somehow God always made a way for me. I was provided for day in and day out.

At the end of the fall semester I left the bakery, I could no longer get up to work those hours and by God’s grace got a job serving at Don Pablos down the road (I had never served before)  and worked at an ice rink back in Apple Valley. I served saturday night – wednesday night and then drove home to work thursday night, friday night and saturday morning at the rink while only taking 6 credits to focus on work, and to cut down on costs. That semester I didn’t take out a loan at all and paid for school purely out of my pocket. When the skating season ended I worked 30 hours a week at Don Pablos and got hired at Bruggar’s for the spring months (seasonal) which I had applied to the previous August. I worked out my schedule to work early morning at Bruggar’s and then lunch and dinner at Don Pablo’s doing my homework in between shifts. I ended up getting a 4.0 and made for an easier junior year by getting the full academic scholarship making tuition less expensive for the coming fall.

I went to the summer project again, raising support for the whole trip and working while down there. I got back and decided to live with my Grandpa who lives in St. Anthony for free alone while still serving at Don Pablos. I worked the nights we didn’t have games and occasionally left practice early to work the dinner shift, but making most of my money on sunday afternoons working a double shift from mid lunch until the close of dinner at 9; all while taking 17 credits at full time day school again. Boy was I happy to be back in class!

Mid october I got kicked out of my very strict grandpa’s house for a misunderstanding that he was not gracious towards. I lived out of my car for two weeks before my teammate Shannon Sopher’s (from Moundsview) parents invited me to live with them free of charge. I moved in there and commuted to work and school daily, but often sleeping in dorms so I wouldn’t have to drive. At the same time realizing I had still no money to really pay for the spring. As I began to pray I found God leading me to go to YWAM (Youth With a Mission) for DTS.

I raised 8,000 and left January 3rd for the semester. I was in Orlando, FL training for 3 months and then got to go to the Middle East for outreach! This 8,000 didn’t come in all at once. I was actually 2 weeks past my deadline and a week before leaving 4000 of it came in all in 7 days. I was overjoyed with how God had provided. A grand of this support was all from friends and teammates from both the Men and Women’s soccer teams here at NWC.

Shortly after raising this support during Lordship week,  at YWAM the Lord convicted me about my lack of work ethic and taking ownership for my learning abilities. (I have a crazy memory, and was encouraged to major, if not at the very least minor in Spanish but had zero desire to take the time and effort to learn and get better in highschool.) During this week I changed my major to Biblical and Theological studies which could be done almost entirely through Distance Education (online classes). I had not done that as a sophomore out of fear and laziness of taking Greek for an entire year. I now am a Biblical studies major and close to 75% of the way through my first year of Greek.

As a senior this year with one more year till graduation, I got home from the Middle East and lived with my parents for the last time. (So I thought) I nannied all day during the summer and served at a new restaurant in Apple Valley at night. I didn’t quite have enough for school so I decided to use my college fund I had been saving for the coming spring.

Soccer started in the fall and I looked for jobs but couldn’t find anything to work out. End of September I got a concussion and broke my nose, having to have surgery put me out of school for a week and Job hunting for a good month while trying to catch up with my 18 credits. I started to freak out about money as it was running dry but faithfully God gave me 3 all at once. I started nannying mid december and got promised interviews for the new year. I decided to go the Distance Ed route again with 8 credits for the spring and work at Chianti Grill and New York and Company. That semester I didn’t have anything to lean on so I took out a loan to help pay my 8 credits but paying as much as I could. I then had a year left and had no idea what the Lord had in store but was praying and planning to be an RA for the upcoming school year. I wanted to be involved in younger girls’ lives since I couldn’t play soccer again.

I didn’t get the RA position to help with finances and focus on paying for the spring tuition, but God still provided in amazing ways. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness for me to be at UNW for 4 years even when I thought I would only make it there for one semester.

I’ve cried lots and lots, more freshman and sophomore year than anything, and always more during soccer season than the Spring but Praise God for sustaining where he has been guiding.

I Love seeing what the Lord has shown me play out practically and am beyond thankful for the encouragement from roommates and teammates through out the years. I’ve been given gift cards for gas and taken out randomly for a meal just as I didn’t have any food and more importantly seen that God blesses through the pain and hard work.

I wouldn’t trade the tears and pain and lack of sleep for anything even if it meant I had to do it all over just to have the same experience. You CAN be at Northwestern and graduate with less than $20,000 in loans but it does take a lot of work and prayer and trust.

I ended up graduating with 23,500 in loans this past December (2013) with a BA in Biblical Studies and minors in both Biblical studies and communications. Northwestern changed my life in so many ways and I couldn’t have hoped it turned out any other way.

worth: take 2

This another journal entry I wrote in highschool.. following the previous post.

 

“But somehow today I feel like nothing; worth nothing. This time I feel shaken, who did I think I was? Why did I feel worth millions? and why do I now feel like I don’t matter. When you worry, that fear changes you, whatever that may be. When you try to prove that your worth a value you become nothing. Worthless, you forget. Your purpose becomes pointless, because you’ve become worthless, but when you shread the fear, shake off the worry and forget the pain you remember. You believe and you play like its just you and the dream. Because being just you is the best it gets. When you are confident you can amaze people. Your worth becomes uncountable, you are not worth millions, you’re priceless.

the blog previous unpacks this idea more but In a nutshell I think I nailed this one right on the head.

We get so caught up in our worldly worth that we forget what really matters. This has been the story of my life the last few weeks. Ive gotten so caught up in the world in the past that when it finally was revealed to me I was broken beyond despair, at least it felt like it.

I was bitter and angry and hurt and confused and sin in relationships are never clean. Its far messier than we see or feel or realize most of the time. Praise God for honesty and His graceous mercy because I would be a mess without it.

Last week I decided to delete my facebook and twitter for a number of reasons but mainly to purge myself from the world. I can get so easily entangled in jealousy and comparison by things that are said on social media networks that I thought it may just be better to stay away. This last week has been one of falling on my knees constantly and crying out before the Lord to comfort the hurt in my heart. To replace the holes that Ive created by giving my heart to things of this world. I started to see so much more of my bitter independent attitude towards God and have cried out to be restored. I don’t want to be satisfied in the world. I want to be carried home, but while I am still one earth.

Lord Jesus, please give my a humble heart to fail publicly and to admit when I’m wrong. To ask for forgiveness from those I’ve hurt and to not be bitter against those who have hurt me. Help me to see more of you and less of me, less of this world and to find my full satisfaction in you alone.

I AM a new creation, I have been washed clean. I am no longer bound by the law of sin and death. I am a daughter of the King and I walk in purity, in righteousness and in love toward all those around me.

worth.

I wrote this sometime in highschool.. although my perspective is different now.. this remains as true as it ever was for me when I wrote it.

‘&& sometimes you just have to wonder why you are not good enough or maybe why you’re not worth it. What’s it? What do you have to be worth? Spending time with? To be able to have faith in? In what? That you wont lie? (because you will) That you wont cheat? Or maybe just able to trust? That’s time, only time can build it. That’s why in life the best things are worth waiting for. Worth; there it is again. You’re worth it for someone. Worth the time. I dont know who. But someone. I’m stuck. In the middle of a worth triangle but I have confidence in myself. I’m not 100% sure why. But I do.

Maybe because by Phillipeans 4:13 it says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

I believe that Im gorgeous in someones eyes, Im beautiful inside and out, I’m worth it. Whatever that worth is. Whatever IT is. I’m just that.

 
I remember writting this after getting my heart hurt by someone, But that doesnt really matter anymore. The thing I now know is that, that someone I was talking about is King Jesus. HE desires me, I’m worth an invaluable amount to him and I know this because He DIED for me. I was worth the pain He endured. I have cheated and lied and made mistake after mistake. I’ve been manipulative and angry. I’ve screamed I hate you and sworn at people for stupid things. I’ve whored myself to the passions and pleasures of the world by forsaking my one true love. King Jesus came to this earth to save my wretched, pitiful soul.  He loves me even though I’ve screwed up and He has captured my heart by pursueing it relentlessly day and night my whole life. On June 3rd, 2009 as I sat in an ice cream parlour in South Carolina late into the evening. I was talking to another girl and she asked me what I was learning at the summer project. We had been talking for a while and all the sudden I looked down and in my hands I saw my heart sitting there. You know what it looked like? It was black and rotten. It was oozing puss and syrupy looking black liquid. It had holes in it every where and it was getting all over the table. I started bawling uncontrollably because I knew that nothing I had done in my whole life was ever going to be good enough to earn my love from God or to get my way into heaven. I cried and cried and cried because I was so ashamed at how I had tried to do so many things to be right with God and impassionate myself to be on fire for the kingdom of God. I had been lying to everyone about what my heart wanted only so that I could convince myself that it was what I really wanted.

Its been almost 3 years and I still catch myself lying about similar things. I still try to control parts of my life and want to do things my own way. I learn everyday more and more what it means to surrender my heart to Jesus and give up the control I think I have. I praise the Lord I am not in control of my life and He is the one guiding me everyday to show me what it looks like to walk in the authority and power He has given us all.

Jesus died to redeem my heart, soul and mind and to draw them all to Himself. He is daily purifying me to be His choosen spotless bride. I’m thankful for all the people put in my life who have humbled themselves and confronted me with the reality of the blackness of my heart that still seeps through now and then. I’m thankful for the people who are there to listen and cry with me when Im not believing the gospel and still feel hopeless. But most of all I’m thankful for my sovereign creator who has loved me all the days of my life and has promised to continue a good work in me, in which he started long before I was born. (Phil 1:7)

 

Praise the Lord for his goodness.