Tuesday, July 5, 2011


i hesitate to write this, but not because of my beliefs, because of the reactions others might have. i will admit that i do not recall the events of three years ago, as i was out of the country at that time. i have taken notice of the justice system and have enjoyed hearing court cases. i think the whole package of it intrigues me. there is a crime committed, then a person accused of the crime. eye witnesses are good and so is other types of evidence. the defender's job is to make sure their defendant receives a fair trial. the prosecutor's job is to use the witnesses and evidence found to prove that the defendant is guilty. our justice system was founded on the right that every person receives a fair trial and is innocent until proven guilty.

murder, especially of an innocent young person tends to strike the core of emotion in people. and it should. we are to protect our young ones and teach them ways that are fruitful and godly.

as i watched this particular case i could not get mad at the defendant. and i will admit, it was not because i felt her behavior was appropriate or right, i felt quite the opposite. to some degree i cannot even pinpoint why i felt sorry or had remorse for her. most days her demeanor did not appear of a grieving mother. the lies and confusion that she brought to this case did not quite seem right. but i am not the judge of that.

did she do it? this is a question that i have asked myself, but the justice system did not elect me to answer whether the prosecution proved that she was guilty or not.

some individuals are outraged at the verdict. complaining that it was obvious and she is getting off free. i am certainly not an expert on the law, but it appears that recently some have determined that one is guilty until proven innocent. this upsets me. i was not able to watch every minute of the case, but i will admit i watched a lot. in the time that i watched, eye witnesses or evidence found that had fingerprints or other dna on it to show who was involved never happened. there was evidence, but nothing concrete pointing directly to her. behavior cannot determine every thing a person might do at some point in time. and behavior after the fact is not concrete evidence either. it may look odd to me, and i definitely do not understand how each individual grieves, but again, that is not concrete evidence.

my heart aches because i think we have forgotten the whole picture. because we are fallen people, this is not a perfect world. death is nothing new. does God desire for any one to perish? my bible says no. we can look at this situation and say the jury got it wrong, or the prosecution did not provide adequate evidence. either way, there is someone out there who needs prayer. who needs jesus. i believe in heaven with all my heart, and because of scripture, i believe that God desires for all of us to be there with him. all of us who have sinned. including me, you, and casey. no matter what happened.

i encourage you to read 2 peter 3:1-18

1 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.[a]

11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.[b] That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Monday, April 25, 2011


my first two semesters of being back in school came to a close last thursday night and i was both thrilled and relieved when i walked out of class. i was waiting on one final grade from this past 7 weeks, but i just checked and i am happy to say that out of 8 classes, i have received 8 A's. i can honestly confess that going back to school has been amazing and truly enjoyable. i had a few fears initially because i had not been in college for over 8 years, but it has been great and i continue to look forward to more classes and finishing up my bachelor's degree. i will carry on this summer with another 7 credit hours of school the first 7 weeks, and i'm unsure right now if i will take any classes the second 7 weeks or have a break.

i have taken a week off from work and i am currently visiting a friend that i met back in 2005. we both were in montana participating in the same discipleship training school through youth with a mission and have kept in touch since then. i've only been here since saturday, but even in the short period so far, i've been grateful for the quality time that i get to spend with katy, and also for the break of "real life." it's amazing to me how God directs our steps, even when we don't realize it. katy and i live over 1000 miles away from each other, but thankful distance does not dictate the depth of a friendship.

i am still working at bashor children's home, and have been blessed with enough hours and a schedule that allows me to go back to school. i continue to learn and grow from my co-workers and also the youth there. at times the youth surprise me with their knowledge about life and they also teach me things about myself.

i have all my classes scheduled for the following year and will graduate may 2012. this is a very exciting accomplishment for me, although when people ask what i will do afterwards, i really have no clue. i could remain at bashor, get into another social work avenue, or maybe something completely different. as you can probably tell from what i wrote above, school was not something that i was excited about going back to necessarily. i had just paid off my college debt from the first time around and i really didn't think it was sensible to go back and obtain more debt. so in actually deciding to go back to school, i felt that it was more about obedience then looking at it logically. that is why i really am unsure about what the future holds. i trust that God knows best and will continue to guide me as i walk forward.

you might ask why i've titled this "rest..." life gets busy. whether it's church, family, friends, school, work, etc.... life doesn't slow down unless we make it slow down or in other words, change our priorities. getting away for a week is a huge blessing for me. without being at home, my life has slowed down. although as much as we all would enjoy a vacation every so often, it's probably not feasible for the majority of us. these verses that follow have challenged me and i wanted to share them.

Psalm 62: 5-8
"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge."

my hope is that as easter has just passed and the warmth of the summer arrives, we all will hold tight on this rest that is offered to us. my priorities have changed and i pray they will continue to change as they need to in order for me to draw closer to God and to gain a greater understanding about what he has for me.

thank you all again for your encouragement and prayers. i truly appreciate it!

Monday, January 31, 2011

when you least anticipate it...

i met up with a friend today that i don't get to see real often. we live a little over 2 hours away from each other, so when we meet, we each drive halfway and end up in kalamazoo michigan. it was great seeing her and catching up on life. even though the distance between us isn't real long, we don't get together enough. life gets busy, schedules conflict, all that stuff.

we sat down at a table for six at panera, mainly because there wasn't a lot of seating left. obviously with only two of us, there was room at the end of the table for others to sit, but i think both of us really didn't anticipate anyone sitting down. to our surprise a middle aged guy asked if he could sit. of course we said yes, but in my mind i was thinking he'd eat his food, and we'd continue talking by ourselves.

i was wrong.

as we were talking about life and my friend was discussing a situation with one of her friends that is struggling with alcohol and some drugs, this guy spoke up and shared his opinion. at first i was surprised and maybe a little annoyed, because he was kind of "invading" our conversation. after a few minutes of him sharing a little of his story, i realized that this guy needed to be in a conversation more than we needed to have our own conversation.

we sat there for probably 45 minutes or so talking with him. about jobs, passions, hobbies, our pasts, goals, many things. it wasn't one of those conversations that was awkward or difficult to keep going. it just flowed.

i find it amazing that God works through us. he says he will, but when it happens, i am humbled by the fact that through my stubbornness, or MY plans, he is persistent enough to get my attention. to help change my mindsets. to sit and talk to a "stranger" who i may never meet again.

this is what it is all about. being the hands and feet of Christ. i think we all are blessed when we allow ourselves to be this, but i know i forget often how easy it is to obey and let my plans and schedules fail. failing in the sense that my focus is off me, and on others.

i pray that this man david will continue to seek truth and allow others to speak into his life, and also allow God to speak through him and his story.

lunch today was not only about catching up with an old friend, but meeting a new one and seeing Christ work. today was a good day. :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

human beings

i am taking a social psychology class these next seven weeks, and in the first chapter of my book, these are some quotes that struck me...

"over the years, social psychologists have found that two of these motives are of primary importance: the need to feel good about ourselves and the need to be accurate. there are times when each of these motives pulls us in the same direction. often, though, these motives tug us in opposite directions - where to perceive the world accurately requires us to face up to the fact that we have behaved foolishly or immorally."

"human beings are motivated to maintain a positive picture of themselves, in part by justifying their past behavior, and that under certain specifiable conditions, this leads them to do things that at first glance might seem surprising or paradoxical."

at first glance, both quotes make sense to me. kind of one of those, "duh" makes sense. although the more i think about them, and re-read them, i think about how simple, but profound they are. i know in my life there is this thing inside of me that wants to feel good about myself, and also the need to be accurate. and sometimes i do things to fulfill those needs and my actions do not make any sense to someone else. i wonder though, what does Christ say about these? i know it's easy sometimes to throw out the God card and say what would Jesus do, but really, what would Jesus do? is the need to feel good about ourselves and be accurate a quality that God has put inside of us, or a need that we have let control us?

i am interested in social psychology, but honestly, thinking about all of this is quite new to me. social psychology is defined as "the scientific study of the way in which people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people." so when we think about the things that make us feel good, or ways that we can be accurate, what does that actually look like when viewing it by that definition? can it be a positive thing, or have we created something God did not intend? it makes me think back to the garden...


Sunday, December 26, 2010


i'm blown away sometimes when i try to understand the love that Christ has for us. we celebrate on Christmas the birth of Jesus, although we know that with birth, comes death. i was thinking today about the words sacrifice and surrender. these two words are neither easy or comforting when i think of my own life. but when i think of Christ's life, sacrifice and surrender are some of the things that give me hope. without Jesus' sacrifice, there would be nothing for us to hold tight too. nothing lasting for us to put our faith in. we can't make it without Jesus. His surrendering and sacrifice for our sake is something that i will never comprehend fully, but i am grateful for it. it gives me a different perspective when i think about my own life and the sacrifices and surrendering that i am called to make. mine don't seem that difficult anymore when i think about what Christ has done.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

four months...

it's just been over four months since i made my way back home after an incredible summer in montana. i started at bethel college at the end of august and have thoroughly enjoyed being back in school. i believe the schooling that i received while in montana helped prepare me for college. after being in a classroom this summer for the morning and part of the afternoon (listening to lectures, reading books, researching material and giving presentations), 4 hours of class now doesn't seem long. i'm proud to say that out of four classes this semester, i received four A's, which completely blew me away. after not being in college for 8 years, i was a bit nervous about going back, but it has been great. this semester i took: group facilitating, introduction to human services, crisis intervention and child growth and development. all have been challenging and all have provided information that i am able to use at work and life in general. i continue to work at the residential children's home, where i've been since august 2008 (minus this summer). i am able to work around my school schedule which has been extremely helpful. the majority of my days are filled with spending time with family and friends, church, school and work. in sunday school we have been talking about social justice and how that looks in society and in the church. it has rocked my boat a bit with acknowledging and understanding that our judgments and stereotypes will not fix the injustices, but will perhaps only fuel the flame. it is up to us to help society and not hinder it.

i am excited to move forward with classes in january and also as i continue taking one step at a time with future opportunities. God continues to be patient with me and gives me clarity with things as i need it. i pray this finds you well and that you are enjoying your holiday season. God bless and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


i've been home for over a week now and things are coming together. i've been overwhelmed in a positive way just how God has provided. i am enrolled back at bethel college. i went there for a year and a half after high school, but stopped going when i had switched degree multiple times and didn't have a concrete plan. i am in the non-traditional program, which is an accelerated program (and a lot cheaper than going back in the undergraduate program). the classes are 7 weeks long, each one night a week for 4 hours. the bachelor's degree i will get will be in human services, which will allow me to grow more in knowledge of psychology, case managing, group facilitating, sociology, etc... i think this is the best fit for me. i'm also looking into having a minor in biblical studies.

i will also be going back to work at the children's home i worked at before i left, which i am excited and thrilled about. this will continue to give me training and experiences.

thanks again to all of you who have been praying and thinking of me during this summer. it has been an incredible summer, even though it has been full of surprises and changes i had not anticipated. i hope that as your summer comes to an end, it has been relaxing and fun!

God bless!