Tuesday, January 7, 2014

[Adios Blogger, Hola Weebly!]

I have decided to leave blogger blog on over at weebly
There are several reasons I've decided to make the switch and although I'm sad to leave the old site, I'm excited for a fresh new start and for continued simple and sincere accounts of my life. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

[A Year in Review: 2013]

When I look back at 2013, what stands out to me? Honestly, it is the people and the learning I've been doing, but sometimes those are hard to put into lists. I will do my best to let those impactful and defining things give me guidance as I sum up my year.




12 New Experiences of 2013
These experiences are meaningful to me, all for different reasons. I am thankful for a God who delights in bringing his daughter joy through the newness in life. 
1. Learning to trust God's provision in raising support for IVLI. 
2. Training for and running a half marathon.
3. Working at the bookstore. This is one of those jobs that will always mean more to me than just being one of the ten part-time jobs I've had. 
4. Standing up in my best friend Hannah's wedding and watch her marry Joel. 
5. Living in my own apartment, buying and cooking all of my own food. 
6. Making the decision to be committed. 
7. Owning and caring for plants; it just feels so right. It is an inexplicable joy.
8. Doing "100 days of praise" and writing/sketching what God was doing every day this summer.
9. Going cliff jumping at Mt. Simon
10. Sharing my testimony at IVLI, Fall Breakaway, and Fall Conference
11. Eating meat again, especially because that means I get to eat food slathered in BBQ sauce again, like pulled pork, ribs, and brisket. 
12. Welcoming four new members into my extended family (3 babies and a wife!): Katie, Hayden, Yvette, and Evelyn. 

Travel Adventures 
I am created to itch for spontaneous adventure, local eats, tall buildings and green mountains, and long car rides. Every place I get to travel, near or far, is a gift that feeds my soul. 
1. Platteville, Wisconsin [Justin's talk at IV] - February 2013
2. Pine Ridge, South Dakota [InterVarsity spring break trip] - March 2013
3. Milwaukee, Wisconsin [Rachel's Graduation] - May 2013
4. Kansas City, Missouri [IHOP] - May 2013
5. Beloit, Kansas [Hannah's Wedding] - June 2013
6. Minneapolis & Saint Cloud, Minnesota [Visiting Anna, Molly, Jordan, Maddie, James, and Katie] - June 2013
7. Fridley & Minneapolis, Minnesota [Visiting Jaimie, Jake & Katie's Wedding] - June 2013
8. Winneconne, Wisconsin [Hetrick fourth of July celebrations] - July 2013
9. Cedarville, Michigan [IVLI] - July 2013
10. Mackinac Island, Michigan [IVLI] - July 2013
11. Cascade, Wisconsin [time at the cottage with Jamie, family, and Luke] - August 2013
12. Waterford, Wisconsin [roadtrip with Luke to visit his family] - August 2013
13. Orange City, Iowa [roadtrip with Molly to visit Northwestern and Dordt friends!] - October 2013
14. Minneapolis, Minnesota [twenty-one pilots concert] - October 2013
15. Alexandria, Minnesota [IV Fall Conference] - October 2013
16. Minneapolis, Minnesota [MOA/IHOP roadtrip] - November 2013
17. Madison, Wisconsin [Zimmerman family Thanksgiving] - November 2013
18.  Waterford, Wisconsin [Gladis/Zimmerman Thanksgiving] - November 2013
19. Kansas City, Missouri [IHOP one thing Conference] - December 2013
20. Zumbro Falls, Minnesota [Rachel's farm] - December 2013

Favorite Things I've Done with Others
It is impossible to capture every meaningful moment with the people I love. The entirety of my blog even fails to do that. But here are some moments that are particularly special to me with people that mean a lot in my life. 
1. Every moment I've spent with Molly Bray. Whether we are having phone conversations, sleepovers, cuddle time, laughing, crying, eating, or just sitting together, I love being with her. This girl knows my heart like none other and she knows just how to care for me. 
2. Becoming large group MC with Taylor for InterVarsity and developing meaningful relationships with the large group team over two semesters. 
3. Getting to use photography to serve Grace, James, Lexie, Trent, and Luke
4. Having a picnic on Putnam rock.
5. Weekly outdoor adventures with Meghan this summer. 
6. Laying on Lexie's bed and just being touched and having real conversations every two weeks for 6 months.
7. Pursuing a relationship primarily through written letters. (So hard, so good.)
8. Swimming in freezing cold Lake Heron with Caleb and Micah.
9. Sleeping outside in a hammock and watching the sunrise the next morning with Noel.
10. Waking up at 5am to climb a ski hill, break into a chair lift, and watch the sunrise. 
11. Getting baptized in the Chippewa river and eating pie afterwards with people who mean so much to me.
12. Every conversation I've had with Jenna in the last 5 months. Especially while looking at Christmas lights or baking pumpkin bread.
13. Being a superfan with Ashley for Ben & Luke's frisbee game.
14.  Going to Racy's on Sunday afternoons with Alexi.
15. Blogging in an actual blogging community
16. Eating ice cream for breakfast with Alexi and Justin at the Goat.
17. The day of rest and fun with the Govs leaders; soccer, bowls, the rope activity, and laughter.
18. Going to the norske nook for pie with Ben, Ashley, and Luke.
19. A spontaneous road trip to MOA and IHOP with my friends.
20. Caroling in a nursing home with all of my friends from Govs
21. Having double dates with James & Maddie, Trent & Lexie, Ben & Ashley, Sam & Drew, Nico & Charmaine, and Tom & Kelsey
22. Hottubbing, movies, nail painting, talking and laughing with Jordan and Maddie
23. Going on a sleigh ride in the snow through the woods with Luke. 

10 New Creations
Made in God's image, I am wired to create, whether it is through poetry, painting, or simply pulling together a unique outfit every morning. 
1. The collages I've made, especially my life story at CFW, my Jesus thank you note, and Isaiah 61
2. Quinoa cakes with roasted red peppers and eggplant
3. Self-created paleo blueberry coffee cake
4. The adventure film I made this summer
5. Decorating my dorm room at Eau Claire
6. Paintings! I can't decide if my hybrid spirit animal or my depiction of the top of the world is my favorite.
7. Eggplant parmesan made by Maddie and myself for Luke and James. 
8. Bacon apple pie!
9. The video in the beauty of fall I made with Alexi about thankfulness.
10. The video Luke filmed with me for his class project

10 Self-Discoveries
I am a unique creature, unable to be placed in a single box or category. I am hard-wired a certain way, but the beautiful part is, that doesn't constrain me, instead, it spurs me on to further growth. Oh, such joy in discovering more about who I am made to be. 
1. Singing is so important to me and learning how to play guitar has been really challenging but exciting.
2. Writing poetry is one of the most cathartic experiences I've ever had. Sharing it is one of the scariest and rewarding experiences I've ever had. 
3. I have learned so much about fears that I have, but I have learned even more about the power I have over them in Jesus' name
4. Creating videos is one of my main passions. I love doing it as a form of art. I also love creating videos of other peoples' stories. 
5. Chocolate and ice cream are two of my favorite foods, in pretty much all shapes and forms. It takes a lot of self-discipline to not eat these miraculous foods 24/7. 
6. Being active is my jam. Longboarding and climbing are two newly-discovered passions. Also, throwing footballs and kicking soccer balls is so life-giving to me, and I am thankful for patient friends because I'm actually quite bad at sports. Not being able to run for six months was one of the hardest parts of 2013. 
7. I could eat oatmeal for breakfast every single day for the rest of my life and be totally content.
8. Drama class is the best class I have ever taken and God used it to teach me more than 4 semesters of gen eds.
9. Being with children brings me loads of joy and spending time with them is a necessity to remind me of God's tenderness and sweet love. Children also make me way laugh more than most grown ups could. 
10. Put me anywhere under a string of christmas lights and I will be at peace and really content. 

Top 20 Musics (In no particular order)
Music is such a beautiful part of life as it pulls me closer to my Jesus, closer to who I am as a person, and closer to others around me. 
1. The World is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid To Die
2. The Whale CD & The Shark CD
3. Molly's Mix Part 1-4
4. Instrumental music, especially The End of the Ocean & Anesthesia
5. Twenty-One Pilots concert
6. onething (especially Misty Edwards & Jon Thurlow)
7. A Life That's Worthy EP - Jon Thurlow 
8. Open Mic with Luke, Ben, and Adam
9. Sleep Well by MAE
10. Jamming to Wagon Wheel 
11. Worship nights in the basement of Govs
12. Build Your Kingdom Here at Jacob's Well
13. The Harvest Bashta EP
14. Heroes For Sale Album - Andy Mineo
15. Instruments of Mercy Album - Beautiful Eulogy
16. Holy Spirit - Bryan & KatieTorwalt
17. Drifter - Corey Kilgannon
18. Better Love - Green River Ordinance
19. Ben Howard
20. Instead of Ashes Album - Clement Chen

Characteristics of God Revealed in 2013
God is so vast I, as a human, will never be able to know him as he knows me. But he does take great care to reveal himself to me. Here are the parts of him that have been continually revealed this year.
1. Father
2. Healer
3. Patient
4. Love
5. Faithful
6. Friend
7. Creator
8. Redeemer
9. Author
10. Worthy

Looking Forward to in 2014
1. Learning more about what it means to be a daughter of God, a friend, and a girlfriend.
2. Seeing further reconciliation in my family.
3. Traveling more and seeing how God uses my desire to travel for His purposes.
4. Dragon movies and Wes Anderson creations
5. Working towards my goals
6. Running again
7. Crossing more experiences off of my Eau Claire bucket list
8. Finally taking SPED classes
9. Changes, such as new roommates and new bible study co-leaders
10. Returning to Pine Ridge 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

[Kansas City]

Oh Kansas City, your tall skyscrapers and 50 degree sunshine tugged at my heartstrings. 
Spending a week in your conference center going to one thing and growing closer to Jesus and 4 of my friends made me want to run back to you every New Years. See you again soon, my friend. 
Driving through Wisconsin is probably one of the most delightful experiences in the world to me. 
Spending a week with these four ladies was absolutely incredible. God has opened up my heart to them and to himself through them. Wowsa. 
 Have you ever looked out and seen seven screens of your favorite speaker talking to 30,000 people?
It's pretty dang amazing. #allenhood #onething
Sunshine! MMM! This was our favorite hallway to nap, eat, and relax in. 
Andrew, Rachel, Afton, and I watched the sunset over the city. It was so beautiful; sunsets literally get me every time. I love spontaneous adventures and breaking into new places.
Oh city lights, you increase my wanderlust and my desire for fresh roasted coffee.
Wow. God paints a new one of these every night, in every city. What the heck?!

Little baby Jesus feet on long car rides home.
Rachel's beautiful farm. Oh blue skies. Oh bare trees. Oh white snow. 
I think farms are my heart language. Especially in the wintertime. 

Highlights include: Oklahoma Joe's pulled pork sandwiches, 4 in a bed snuggle time, Misty Edwards worship sets, getting to hear Jon Thurlow play both in the prayer room and at the conference, Jesus revelations, incredible speakers that have been making me think, getting to hold Molly's hand on the daily, getting coffee with Alexi and talking with her, being so encouraged by everything Alexi says, meeting and chatting with Kahealani (this girl has a rocking' EP free on noise trade!), getting prophesied over, long road trips with good conversations and encouraging friends, meeting Rachel's grandparents, and spending the morning on Rachel's farm. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

[Gratitude]

[This is for you, Alexi, to get you through while I'm trying to overcome my blogging funk.]

I am thankful...

...for friends who have farms and Dr. Phil's warm coat.
...for horses that are kind instead of scary and allow me to fully enjoy God's creation.
...for these glasses, which I will probably end up wearing on the daily. #nipsturd
...for this picture of Alexi who is just one of my favorite people and brings a heck of a lot of joy and light to my life. 
...for the time and resources to be able to freely craft while I have so much down time at home. This is my newly painted poetry journal. Get it? Poetree? I'm clever, I know. 


and...

...for mothers who let me crash their Friday night movie dates with friends when I don't have any.
...for Copper Rock, even though it's no Racy's.
...for the sweater I've taken out of my laundry bag 4 times in the last month because it's just that warm.
...for trips to Chipotle and finding chocolate hidden in my car. 
...for long phone conversations with long-distance friends who know how to speak straight to my heart. Well, not quite as well as Jesus does, but he is speaking through them, so it's pretty darn close.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

[Happy Birthday Jesus!]

Today is Jesus' birthday! 
It is indeed a time of celebration.

This year, my favorite Christmas song is "O Come O Come Emmanuel" and this is my favorite version. Please ignore the creepy Jesus picture. 


The Gundersen Family version is a very close second and fortunately, it does not include a creepy Jesus picture. 

But in all seriousness, have you listened to the lyrics of this song? Holy cow, they are hitting me hard this year. Even the title itself: the name Emmanuel means "God with us." This is the part that is so insanely exciting. The creator of the universe came to dwell among us, as one of us. What the heck? Why am I not more consistently blown away by this? This is obviously the whole point of Christmas, this is the whole point of Jesus coming, but I miss it sometimes. 
This song is such an incredible representation of where the Kingdom of God is right now; we are in the now-but-not-yet. Jesus has come, he has risen and died, Jesus has brought us into the next part of the Kingdom: transformation. However, we are still in the not-yet as we wait for Jesus to return and bring the Kingdom fully here on earth. This song is a combination of longing, o come, o come emmanuel... and deaths dark shadows put to flight but there is also rejoicing, give them victory over the grave... Rejoice! Rejoice! These lyrics are such a beautiful display of where our hearts should be; we should be expectantly awaiting the return of our King while still rejoicing for all that he's done. 

Emmanuel, God with us. 

My bible study has been studying the book of Mark this semester and every week we write down who Jesus is or something about Jesus. So every week we would write down, "Jesus is compassionate, he is a healer, he is God, he is the Son of Man" or however we saw Jesus from that passage. I complied all of our words into a 5-page document and then copied and pasted them into wordle. (Wordle is a site that takes the most frequently used words and makes them proportionately larger.) It was so cool to sit down and see patterns of who Jesus is and to review everything we learned over the semester.

Here is the wordle:
Wordle: Mark1-8

Saturday, December 21, 2013

[Happy Birthday Luke!]

I want to tell you about a life that I am so thankful to be able to celebrate. 
It is my dear friend (okay, and boyfriend) Luke John. Today is his 20th birthday and let me tell you, I am really joyful in celebrating his life today. 

I am thankful for Luke because...
…he is an encourager with his words and with the way he treats people. He sees those people that are often overlooked, but more than that, he sees the good in them and he sees what they have to offer. 

…he celebrates beauty in everyday life. He takes time to create art. Joy pours out of him when he creates music. He puts care into crafting gifts that speak of his knowledge of others and his creativity. 

…he is full of wisdom. He uses that wisdom to build others up and better understand how he can serve, instead of using that wisdom to puff himself up. 

…he is pursuing God and he inspires others to do the same with his life, his words, and the truth he displays. He does not hesitate to speak what he knows is true. He is open and willing to grow and that is so beautiful. 

Having Luke in my life as a boyfriend, comforter, encourager, inspiration, and friend is something I am extremely blessed by. Being around him constantly points me to the Creator and reminds me of His goodness. Today, I am praising God for His creation and the ways He has been working in and through this beautiful life. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

[Inspiration]

This video gives me wanderlust like none other.
I can't decide if I'd rather be the one behind the lens or the ones telling the stories.
Just take me to where I can live a life of adventure and worship and leave the petty cares behind. 

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