In The Thick of It

Have you ever been blindsided by a battle that you really never hoped to fight…again? It’s a tough situation to say the least. I’ll be honest with you (the blogging community) and say that I have been through a battle or two. I have come out of the battles with a broken heart, bruised feet, exhausted muscles and wounds that seem to take forever to heal. I have come out of the battles with all the colors of emotion but at the end of the day, at the end of the battle, I lay down in the presence of God and give myself over to Him once again because through the battles I have learned that healing, peace, rest and some semblance of understanding only come from Him.

Right now my heart is broken. I was asked by God to surrender something very important to me, something that I had hoped would last for the rest of my life and someone that I had grown to care for very much. I have learned a few things so far in the pain and I would love to share them with you because maybe, just maybe, you could be impacted by these thoughts and revelations the way I have been.

  •  God is big. Even when I cannot feel Him and even when I am so sad His bigness is not lessened, His glory is not tarnished.
  •  Gods is OK with my emotions. I have had a lot of people telling me how I should be feeling about the recent events in my life and that is fine because I know that all they want to do is help. What I am finding is that I don’t so much want to know how to feel but rather I want to know what to do with how I feel.
  • Hope is a far bigger word than I ever imagined and I am shocked about how this four-letter-word is having so much impact on my life.
  • Romans 5:3-5 says, “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance ; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.”
  • You know, tucked away in that little verse is a very complicated equation and a very bold promise. The equation: suffering>perseverance>character>hope. One leads to the other and we cannot have any true understanding of one without experiencing the previous. And the promise: Hope does not disappoint us. I’m fumbling over these words because I’m convinced that they must be so much more complicated than they appear to be. I’m studying hope right now…hope and how we tend to take hope and turn it into wishful thinking. (I’ll update you as I know more on the subject)
  • Finally, I am learning that hope is not so much about the result you want…instead it is about where you put your hope. It’s what you do with the hope that you have. Ultimately I am finding that to put my hope fully and solidly in anything but Jesus could yield me some good results…but not the best results.  Not the results that He wants for my life.

Yes, sacrifice was necessary. Yes, it hurts like hell and I wish the feeling of someone punching me in the stomach would go away. But because I am broken, bruised and hurting I have found myself more consistently at the foot of Gods throne. I have found myself longing, begging even, to be wrapped up in the peace that only He can provide for me. I am finding myself in the midst of healing. Pure healing. I am coming into His presence with all of me, uncensored and unhindered only to encounter all of Him which is more than enough.

In Peaceful Desperation,




On Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 here at Western Washington University the documentary Nefarious: Merchant of Souls will be playing in Arntzen 100. This is a documentary that is dedicated to exposing the global sex trade and guess what? It’s Free. Come ready to have your heart impacted.

Don’t live in Bellingham? Check out the website to find out about showings near you! Also, check out your local newspaper for potential listings.

For now I leave you with a trailer of the documentary to give you a sneak preview into the content.

Light casts out all darkness and where there is light no darkness can hide. Lets choose to shine light on issues like these and expose them.


Bracing for Impact,



Lazarus had died. Mary saw Jesus and knowing that He was God she claimed that He could have saved Lazarus.

“‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept.”

I know that this is a hard place to stop the story because, as many of you may know, Jesus goes on the raise Lazarus from the dead. I stopped it here because I believe that Luke 11:35 ‘Jesus wept.’ is a tiny, powerful verse that we can glean understanding from. Jesus did not come in ‘mighty and strong’ to save the day. He didn’t don a superhero outfit and he certainly didn’t tell everyone to ‘Fear not!’. He didn’t come with suckers or band-aids or even with some hot tea to comfort the hurting. He came, real, raw and honest with nothing but compassion and that compassion moved in such a way that he was able to relate to those who were mourning. He mourned, too. He didn’t cover it up. Jesus, Savior of the world, was weeping with the brokenhearted.

I have a friend who is experiencing loss right now. Do you? Whether it is loss of a friendship, family member, house, job, boyfriend or girlfriend or any range of things…loss hurts. I know I have been guilty of doing my best to help someone I love to not hurt. I have tried to make things better or offer what I can to help them get past something instead of helping them get through something. What I have learned and seen of Jesus in this little, tiny scripture is that he also wept. He came alongside the broken and hurting and he mourned with them. It doesn’t say how long he was there mourning for…it simply says that he was there and that he, too, mourned. I think we can all learn from this beautiful picture of compassion.

It is not what we can do for our hurting friends, necessarily, although offering helping hands never hurts. I believe it is what we can do with them. Pray, talk, cry, mourn, weep, and even laugh and smile. I’m not an expert on these things. I do not pretend to be. (And if I was I would ask you to seriously reconsider your choices for experts because I am definitely not qualified for such a position.) The only image or picture I have of what to do for a friend in need is Jesus. Jesus wept. Maybe we should, too.


Marveling at the greatness of our God,


What a Monday Says

Today is Monday.

Many people deem Monday to be just another…well…Monday. That day at the beginning of the week where requirements, deadlines and just stuff is expected of us. Oh Mondays. My Monday has been pretty regular so far. I woke up, read my Bible and went to school. I worked on homework, went to class and that headed over to Red Robin to work. After work I did more homework and when I finished what I set out to do, I found myself singing a song that I had been listening to yesterday. And so I opened the link, watched the video and listened to the words of Leeland singing ‘I Wonder’.

Check it out:

I love this video. Not just because of the pretty lights and the beautiful videography (although those things do really penetrate my heart). No, I was captivated because this video was one of real, raw worship. Of our real, raw God. The words ‘I Wonder’ make me ask, “How often do I wonder at Gods creation and His love?” Something to think about…it is simply wrong to let the things of our days get in the way of worshiping God. Let us not become so ‘used’ to His love or creation that things of glorious beauty fall on our blinded eyes. Let’s wonder together at His beauty. He is awe-inspiring.



Just South of the Border

In September I went on a mission trip to Mexico with my friend Cameron and my boyfriend Jack. This was an independent mission trip in that we did not go through any organizations or with any groups and the it was self funded. It was quite the adventure to say the very least. If was fun, exciting, new and -yep, you guessed it- exhausting. Have you ever been exhausted but not just because of the daily grind of deadlines and due dates? (My english essay calls to me even as I write) This exhaustion was of another form altogether–it was similar to what you might feel when you’ve worked out really hard and you hurt because of it but that hurt is a good hurt. Well, this trip gave me the feeling of a good hurt and a good exhaustion. It also threw me for a loop in that it was everything I didn’t expect and exactly everything I needed to see.


We began our journey in Bellingham, Wa where we got up and went to the airport at 4:00 am with a backpack a piece and a 50 lb duffle bag loaded with Spanish Bibles and clothes for the kids of the cities. We then took a plane to Seattle, and then a plane to Portland, and THEN we took a plane to San Diego where we hopped a bus and went to the Trolley. Once on the Trolley we went all the way to the border and walked across the border to Tijuana. Once we were in Tijuana we got on another bus and rode that down to Ensenada where, due to some crazy events and mishaps, we ended up getting a ride to the YUGO Ensenada Outreach ministry location.

This is Rhonda, talking with Cameron.

This is the house that we stayed in. The YUGO ministry is truly an amazing ministry. When teams come to the YUGO mission they spend a week building houses and doing community projects for families that are then plugged into a local church to be discipled. Every family that is ministered to gets a bible. This is where we dropped the majority of our bibles and kids clothes.  After traveling ALL DAY we were finally (around 9:00 pm) able to have some authentic Mexican Tacos. So. Good.


After our one day stay in Ensenada, we made our way to La Casa Hogar, which translates to “The House Home”. This is the standard name for orphanages in Mexico.


Once we got there, we were able to meet the kids, hang out with them for a while and learn a bit about La Casa Hogar. The tour was great. One morning, when the kids were in school, we got to go into town and give ourselves a tour.


I love this truck. It’s fabulous.


Many people have come to Uruapan to do outreach.





Cameron and Jack, in their quest for ‘manly work, were able to help build a play house of sorts at La Casa Hogar. They loved it.







There were puppies. Perritos!


We got to go to La Iglesia. We met some wonderful people there. In the middle are Katie and Fabian. They stayed with us in Casa 3!


Jack taught Jose hose to play the guitar. He did quite a few lessons while we were there.


Sunset at La Casa Hogar.


This is the boys in the Astro-Van. We almost died in this on numerous occasions. You might think I’m kidding. I assure you people: This is NOT a joke!!!


We went to the elementary school and helped to clean up their school yard. We removed 5 trash bags of trash and dealt with wood with rusted nails, broken glass and broken bottles. Jack re-build their playhouse. They promptly destroyed it the next day to our amusement.








Sandra and I! She’s wonderful and so full of life. She loves to laugh and play pranks…..



There was a language barrier. She smiled…I pulled out the double chin.


More language barrier.




We did a lot of yard work at the secondary school. Their trees now look more like trees and less like shrubs and overgrowth. PTL!


Angela, house mom of Casa 1. (She’s a baller)












Augustine. This was about the only picture I could get of him.




Martin. If there was a prank going down…he was usually a part of it.


Mexico was an amazing experience and I am so blessed that I got to be a part of it. God did amazing things in and through us while we were amongst these kids. There are so many more wonderful faces I was unable to capture on camera because my battery died. These kids were kind, fun and smart and they all had a wonderful zest for life. I went to Mexico to serve the people and what I found is that the people served me and taught me more about service than I had known. It is incredible. I thank God for this wonderful experience.


Learning to Serve,







Why, hello there blogging community! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Well, take my school schedule, my work schedule and the added wonder of a new school year at Whatcom Community College and Western Washington University, add them together and divide it by 24 and you have the unfortunate conclusion that I have had no time to blog. Life has been wonderful and amazing, taxing and stretching…but exceptionally relational.
I started this post today with a beautiful picture of Mirror Pond in Bend, Oregon. Bend is my hometown. It has been exactly one year since I have been in Bend and I am exceptionally sad about this fact, but I am filled with hope that I will one day be there again. One thing you cannot deny: Bend. Is. Beautiful. It’s true. It is sunny there 300 days of the year and I love it. This is Bend in fall. Another thing we must address is that fall is here. It arrived sometime in the middle of the night a few weeks ago and it settled in for the long haul . I’m not complaining because the changing of the leaves is a feast for the eyes of any and all. Stunning.

This is a picture of a trail next to Whatcom Community College. (Go Orcas!!) It is also beautiful here in Bellingham in the fall. I am enjoying the weather change and the whirly-swirly winds. And speaking of Bellingham, there is a lot going on here that I must tell you about. I love a good list on a Sunday morning, and so I will inform you of ‘the haps’ here in Good Ole’ Western Washington.

The Haps:

1. A new academic year has begun. Students arrived in droves in the middle of September. There are a lot of Freshman on campus. (They are easy to spot. Just look for the quizzical looks and young faces. Be careful, though- they spook easily) It has already been a busy and challenging year and there are really cool things happening across campus.

2. Campus Christian Fellowship (CCF) has begun once again and on Friday nights, it’s a packed house, folks. CCF expanded permanently to two rooms this year and we see anywhere between 400-600 students on a Friday night. Arntzen Hall rooms 4 and 100 are being packed full of students and the Lord is being praised. So. Good.

3. CCF has also set up small groups across campus called Core Groups. They are organized by dorm rooms and there are even some off-campus cores, too! At Whatcom Community College, there are cores during the day so that students can attend between their classes! There are girls cores and guys cores and so all this year you will see people doing life together and reaching out to others on their campuses!

4. There has been a call this year to prayer on our campus and we are answering that call! There are going to be two prayer walks every Tuesday!! One is from 9:00-9:30. We will be meeting on campus at the flag poles by the Academic West Building, and we will go to Red Square, praying all the way. The other prayer walk is from 5:00-5:30 and we will be meeting in Red Square and heading to the flag poles. This gives us an opportunity to be in an amongst our peers and love on them in a very cool way.

5. Fall camp is coming up for CCF! If you are a college aged student and you want to come to this camp, do it! It’s a ton of fun. We spend 2 days completely devoted to loving God, learning from His word, being in fellowship and having fun. Got Homework? Don’t sweat it! There is a study hall on Saturday if you want to participate in that and get your work done. (You’ll get bonus points for being so diligent)


Well, that wraps up the summary of September, for ya. I’ll be back very soon (promise) with more information about the happenings on campus, causes worth fighting for and amazing things that students are doing to reach their generation.


Falling into Him,


Zoo-Sunday With Jackson Thomas

The last few weeks of my life I have been struggling with some pretty difficult stuff. My first inclination was to use the word heavy and in all reality the things I am going through are heavy…but I have not felt the weight of that. I have felt pressure, yes, and a good amount of emotional overload, but I have walked in the up-right and confident position because I know that My God Reigns. It’s a lovely feeling. 🙂 The battle I have been facing has really challenged me to fight with finesse instead of stealth. It has required scripture of epic proportions and a great amount of reminding myself that I am a daughter of the Most High God and nothing can take that from me. My identity is solid in Him and He loves me as I was, as I am and as I will be (when I grow up ;). So there’s the news from the battle field. It’s difficult but the victory is sure.

After a few weeks of fighting this battle, you can imagine my excitement when my super-swell boyfriend, Jack, decided to take me to the Zoo for our weekly Sunday-date-night. We were supposed to meet up with a friend of his at the zoo but that didn’t pan out–we got to see him afterward though! 🙂

It started with a car ride.

I put an almond in Jacks ear. I felt it was appropriate. 🙂














We made double chins.

















The Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle, Wa










This is my penguin friend. He was the only one swimming. All of his buddies were afraid to dive into the water.









These little guys were really cool. They’re so colorful!























I always knew that elephants were big…it’s just that…they’re SO BIG!!!














The Dino Exhibit!!!












It’s these moments that make me laugh the hardest. Bahahaha.

We topped the date off with some sour cream and onion crickets. It was really, really fun and we laughed a ton. Yummmm.


This is pretty standard for Jack and I. My heart is filled with joy when I see this picture.

That’s all folks. More from the battle field next week! 🙂