Grown up

So the other night I was sitting and talking to some of my friends. One is a pre-med, another business marketing, and when I asked the other one her major she said accounting. I replied, "I'm majoring in a-counting too. For the rest of my life I'll be with kindergarteners just a-counting and a-counting." She didn't think it was that funny.

I don't know if I even want to be a teacher. I think I do, because there is no other major that I think I could absolutely love. Honestly, I think all I want to do when I grow up is serve Jesus. As much as I would like to marry a pre-med major here at Bethel and live comfortably, I don't think I could spend my time getting pedicures when deep down I know I'm called to something greater.

I couldn't live with myself if I knew I was living for myself.



So it rained tonight...Amazing! I had just said earlier today that I wanted a thunderstorm, and low and behold there was one. I went downstairs to say hello to a friend of mine, and as I was helping him fold his laundry we decided to go play in the rain. Play in the rain? Honestly, I wasn't sure I knew how to play in the rain anymore. When I was little I would just play with toy boats in the gutter or hold a cute umbrella. But I'm nearly 19 now. Jumping in puddles just didn't have the same appeal. So we grabbed a frizbee and headed out side where we found some other guys jumping off the little bridge on Bethel's campus into the creek and they would body surf down the creek. It looked so fun. As the rain let up we found some friends sliding down a mud slide into a giant puddle. That was fun. SIDE NOTE: Growing up I was a very cautious, and clean child :END NOTE. I was covered in mud from head to toe. I felt so freed....Amazing.

Also, conversations with a few close friends at the end of a dock in the middle of the night covered in mud could be one of the most fulfilling experiences ever.

The most important thing I've ever learned!

Vespers was good last night. I feel like it was the first time I actually felt semi-connected to the Lord during the worship since I came to Bethel. Lately I haven't felt very genuine with my corperate worship; I'd rather praise God through prayer. No shame in that.
...I was so proud of myself; I finished all my work before vespers so I could get to bed early when I got back. Funny how things don't work out as we plan. When I got back from Vespers, I remembered that I needed to print out the paper for my 8:00 class, and sure enough, the printer in the study lounge was broken (as it always is when I'm tired and have a paper due). After I let out a huff of frustration, a boy in the study lounge, who grew up in Bloomington with me, thought he'd inform me of a death of one of the guys I graduated with last year. At first, I thought he was joking, because he tends to fool around a bit, but I know him well enough to know that he wouldn't joke about something that serious. He told me that this kid, Joey, died of a cocaine and meth overdose. Honestly it broke my heart. I didn't know Joey well at all. I mean we had classes together, and talked on occasion, but we were not much more than aquaintances. What broke my heart is that he did not know the Lord. How can parents sit at the funeral for their 19 year old son who died as a consequence to his foolish choices and maybe know that he is NOT in a better place. What's the preacher to do? Lie? Say he's in a better place so everyone gets warm fuzzies? I can't imagine that he would perform the funeral in a manner that implied that Joey had gone to you-know-where. Anyway, when I had all intentions of heading to bed, I knew I wouldn't...couldn'tsleep with out meeting with Jesus. For the first time in my life, His word came together in a way that I had never realized it before. Before, though the Lord would speak to me through his word, it seemed more to me like a bunch of random guidelines strung together to make me more Christ-like. Don't get me wrong. It has always been my truth and my light, but now, I can put it together. Everything I even glanced at in the Bible came down to spreading the good news of Salvation.

"My Ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else. I have been following the plan spoken of in the scriptures, where it says,
Those who have never been told about him will see, and those who have never heard of him will understand."
Romans 15:20-21

"Obviously, I'm not trying to be a people pleaser! No, I am trying to please God. If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ's servant."
Galations 1:10

"So don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time."
Galations 6:9

"Live wisely among those who are not Christians, and make the most of every oppertunity. Let your conversation be gracious and effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone."
Colossians 4:5-6

"Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you suffer for ding what is right, God will reward you for it. So don't be afraid and don't worry. Instead you must worship Christas Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. but you must do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your concience clear. Then if people speak evil against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ."
1 Peter 3:13-17

It's just amazing how the Bible has this one common theme. Love and Live for God and share the Good News of Peace and Salvation. It proves how constant and great our God is. I was on a date the other night with some other couples and one of my friend's dates asked me why and how I have faith that the Bible is the Word of God and that it is inerrant (without error). Why? Because God is the same great God today as he was at the Creation of the World. How can I have faith? I just have to. If I could explain it, I wouldn't need faith.

In short: My biggest fear is to see someone leave this world with out knowing Jesus; it breaks my heart. This life is not about me; It's about Jesus. Therefore I desire nothing but to take his truth, which I find in his Word, to those who have not heard or do not understand. Jesus is the way the truth and the light and NO ONE can get to the father except through him. Gosh this is so darn important, I can't emphasize it enough.

I apologize that this was so darn scatterbrained, but there are just many things going through my head right now that are all so important and need to be voiced.



So last night, I went bowling with my roomie for next year and her dad and a few other people. We only got to bowl 1 and a half games. The first game I bowled a 31, and the second game (which we only got halfway through) I bowled an 8. Let's just say bowling is not my spiritual gift. So now I am on a pursuit to find what I am really good at. Wish me luck.


Do you wanna Dance?

There are so many things I want to do. I was recently in Mexico (like last week) with my beautiful mother, and I kept thinking of things I want to do. Sometimes I feel like I'm having a mid-life crisis, where I'm ready to do the drastic, like chop my hair or buy a time share in Canada. My mom is constantly reminding me that I'm only 18, then I have to remind her that I am almost 19. Because we all know the few extra months makes a world of difference. Anyway, right here, right now, I am making a list of things that I want to do within the next 10 years.(Note: this is in no particular order after the first few goals).

  1. Fall more madly in love with my Savior Jesus.
  2. Develop a one-woman act portraying the joys and struggles of teenage girls.
  3. Learn to Dance. Not just like "Hey baby, check this" dancing, but like, "That's right, I'm natural and sweet, but I'm twirling so fast that I can't stop to chat and I really hope my dancing partner catches me" dancing.
  4. Write a Book.
  5. Travel oversees. Possibly England, or Italy.
  6. Begin working to require Spanish in Elementary School curriculums.
  7. Get in shape.
  8. Expand my plate collection. I love tableware.
  9. Pay off college loans. Maybe not all of them, but a good chunk of them.
  10. I really really want to learn to dance.


Sexual Abuse Tonight!

No lie, today I opened my e-mail where I had 2 new messages. The first subject line read, "Taylor Storey (Cedarville) has written on your wall" the subject line on my second e-mail read this, "Sexual Abuse Tonight!" Do you ever have those moments where you read something and move on then it sinks in and you think to yourself, "Good Gracious! That's not right" so you go back and read it again only to find that someone has made a horrible error. It was one of those things where I began to chuckle and I turned around to see if there was anyone around to share this experience with, but there was no one. Although, since it was a mass e-mail, I do wonder if there were any other souls out there who noted the irony in the e-mail heading. I always hear Jay Leno reading those weird typos on his talk show, and I laugh at the creativity of the hoax, but being the rational person I am, I always assumed they were made up. Now the good Lord has shown me the truth: people who mean well may write things like, "Sexual Abuse Tonight!" when they really mean, "Sexual Abuse Discussion Tonight!" I'm thankful that we can laugh at the comic events of everyday life.


We were merely Freshmen

Oh gracious... I live at Bethel University now, it's sad that I haven't even come close to touching this thing since before I moved. Quick update: I love my roommates Gwen and LeRoyce (I know what you're thinking, but she actually is white). My classes are ok. I feel like all I do is read. I read and read and read, and when I'm done I have class and get assigned more to read. Fancy that. Well I guess this is what it's supposed to feel like. Yeah that's pretty much my life right now. But now for what I really had to say.

All college freshmen are alike. Actually all freshman are alike. Highschool freshmen try to be like what they think regular highschoolers act like, when they are not mature enough to do so. While college freshmen try to act all adult like most college students, when they aren't ready for the responsibility that goes along with it. At Cedarville, my dorm was not really freshman housing, but now at Bethel I live on what is dubbed the "Freshman Hill" and oh boy is it eventful. Where the girls dress like highschoolers, the boys act like toddlers, and their parents all sit back and pray that this will be the year their babies will mature. Will it ever happen? I will have to see next year, when they're all sophomores.


3 little words

"You've Got Mail" That has got to be my all time favorite movie. Yes, I'm a silly girl, but there is something quaint about the movie. The romanticism of their love via letters (or the modern day e-mail) gets me everytime. I loved it in the origional, The Shop Around the Corner, starring Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart, and then again in our wonderful remake as You've Got Mail, with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. I don't know. They're lives just seem so simple. As I was watching this movie, as it was on tbs tonight, I got to thinking about life. There is one point where Meg Ryan's character, Kathlene Kelly, says to her enemy, Joe Fox (F-O-X), "No one will ever remember you, Joe Fox. And maybe no one will remember me, but plenty of people remember my mother, and they think she was fine. And they think her store was something. But you, Joe Fox, are just a suit." Ouch. She sent him home with something to think about. He spent his whole life working, and following in the footsteps of his disfunctional father and grandfather. From that moment on, his life began to slowly change. He didn't dedicate his life to deworming orphans in Somalia or anything like that, but he began to look for the joys in this life. He began to cherish what really matters in life (except for God, because heaven forbid they mention God as the reason for life in any romantic comedy). I really don't know if any of this makes sense, because I feel it is quite late. Well, not that late, but sure late enough for all my thoughts to be jumbled. Anyway, I guess all I'm trying to say is that I think life can be way more simple than people make it...than I make it. We, as Americans, run through life, always trying to get from one place to another. Can't we take time to breath, so we can know really what we should do? Hmmm. I'll stop rambling on. Anyway, Dial up will never be forgotten (in fact it may even be joked about in the same way we poke fun at 8 tracks). Breath.



Feel free to call me corny and to go write another self-help book for women that will be bought for it's amazing cover, and never touched after that by most women. Can I just say that if those annoying redundant books touch one soul, they were worth writing. So with that I'm going to share my little thought that I gathered while putting together a puzzle of Times Square New York, NY. Puzzles are something that I never thought I liked to do, but yesterday I sat down to our dining room table to take a stab at the action. It was a really difficult puzzle. You know, the kind where, out of the 500 pieces, at least 46 of them are all black, and all kind of fit in certain spots. So when I was putting this picture together, I would shove pieces in places where they fit, but I could feel there was some type of resistance. Luckily I was able to catch my mistakes and replace those pieces with the pieces that were designed to go in those designated spots. And I got to thinking: that's what it's like with us as Christians, or humans for that matter. We are each a piece that goes together to make a beautiful, detailed picture. However, if we don't do our job and fill in our spots, the puzzle cannot be fulfilled. Sure someone else (or another piece) can go in our spot, but they wouldn't get the job done the same way we could have. And we must know that we can't do it on our own, but that's why we have the church; to support eachother. So I guess that's why it's so important for us to search for where we belong. It's not always an easy journey to find where God wants us, but in the end we will be able to see how we impacted the big picture.

"Now there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service in the church, but it is the same Lord we are serving. There are different ways God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work through all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church."
~I Corinthians 12:4-7


It's raining men

Who would ever think to write that song? Rip off the roof and stay in bed? Honestly, what is that? Everything about that song is so wrong, yet I absolutely love it. Maybe because I feel like it gives more power to women due to the fact that it completely belittles men to nothing more than a sex object, or maybe because it just feels great to dance to. I guess it is safe to conclude that I have no idea why I like it. Anyway, today I was listening to a mix my mom's friend Tammy made for my mom. The CD didn't work in any of our CD players except my car CD player, so my mom gave it to me. I put it in to listen to as I drove out to the Rock tonight. So as I pull out of my driveway, I began to listen to the wonderful You're So Vain, then that led to You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman, followed by Anticipation which was trailed by about 3 more songs before it started Raining Men. By this time I was in Uptown looking for a parking spot, which I must say was a stressful situation for someone like me who hasn't parallel parked since my second drivers test. So I finally found a spot on Hennipen Avenue which I thought was legal, but wasn't completely positive, but I parked there anyway. It wasn't a spot where I had to parallel park, but it still took me a few times to back up and pull forward to get close enough to the curb. So while I'm going through this tedious process, I realized that I had my music on almost as loud as it can be. This isn't always a bad thing, but when your in uptown sticking out like a sore thumb because you have no clue how to park on the street and are listening to It's Raining Men, it can be quite embarrassing. And embarrassing it was. So I turned my car off and went into church where Mark Bowen gave a fabulous message on greed, which I suggest everyone must download off of www.Rockthechurch.com because chances are you are greedy. No offence, but being an American you are. Sorry about my mini sermon, so on with the story. After church, the lovely Ruth Bowen and I drove together to Mikey's house for a fun little birthday gathering for him. Ruth and I got in the car, I turned the ignition, and what comes blaring through my low-quality speakers? It's Raining Men. I quickly turned it down and apologized. Then, to my surprise, Ruth replies with, "No I love that song." So we turned it up and sang at the top of our lungs. Well maybe not at the top of our lungs, but we did sing along. Then when the song was over we turned it down and had some solid girl talk time. Aaah. Nothing brings the whole world together like music. Except for sports movies like Rudy or Remember the Titans or Waterboy (ok totally joking about waterboy). But that's for a whole different post.


Sweet home Minnesota

Well I just spent like a half hour writing out all I wanted to say about my trip to Ohio to move out, and I accidentally erased it. Maybe that was the Lord telling me that I said too much. So here's what I'll share:
It was sad to leave Cedarville. I didn't realize how many true friends I had until it was time to go. I love Cedarville and all the wonderful people there, but I know Bethel is where the Lord wants me to be, and I have a total peace about it all. He's got the whole world in his hands.


I'm still writing 2005 on my checks

I come home and suddenly I become too cool for blogging. Well, maybe too cool isn't the issue. How about too busy? or too preoccupied? That sounds more like it. It's crazy how busy life gets. So I'm home in Minnesota! I love the beautiful cold. Let me explain. Ohio (where I have spent the last 4 months) is cold, not as cold as Minnesota, but cold nonetheless. However, in Ohio, the sun never shines, and it always rains...except for when it snows. When it snows, the snow melts then turns straight to ice. That leaves us with icy sidewalks, brown grass, a non-frozen Cedar Lake, and a grey sky. Though Ohio weather is miserable, it really allows me to appreciate Minnesota's lovely winters.

I feel like I have so much I want to share, but I'm afraid that if I write too much no one will be willing to read what I had to share. Well, I don't think I'm going to let that hold me back. I suppose I could talk about my days at Bare Escentuals where I spent eight hours a day swirling, tapping and buffing mineral make-up, but honestly, that would be worthless chatter. We had a fantastic Christmas with family then with the Sims, our adoptive family who is finally home (well most of them) from the far away land of Belgium. A few days after Christmas my mother, Joe and I headed of to the third annual Faithwalkers Conference in Missouri. And that's where this story really begins...

My mom and I have been to Faithwalkers every year, and it's been different every year. The first year I can honestly say changed my life. The main thing I took from the 2003 faithwalkers conference was to read my Bible daily, and I did for a long while, but then after 6 or 7 months I forgot my priorities. The 2004 faithwalkers could have been a lot better had I not focussed on mingling with my great friends. It was a blast, but I didn't really put anything to practice, but this year was different. Holy smokes! God is so good. Can I just say that I am so thankful for the men and women of Great Commission Ministries who have paved the path for us fellow faithwalkers? This year I took home a lot. It all boils down to me needing to die to myself so that I may be fruitful! I spent the week with my mother and the beautiful Terri Erhardt. I love them both dearly, and I am so thankful they were there to help me grow. I hope to take my gift of faith and someday do missions. Really I just want to follow the Lord where ever he may take me. He's a good God. I just wish everyone could know him the way we know him, because he saves lives, changes lives, heals lives, and loves those who live their lives with his purpose in mind.

"The truth is, a kernel of wheat must be planted in the soil. Unless it dies it will be alone -- a single seed. But its death will produce many new kernels -- a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who despise their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. All those who want to be my disciples must come and follow me, because my servants must come and follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And if they follow me, the Father will honor them."
~John 12: 24-26
Chew on that for a while, and see if it changes your life.

And now it's 2006! I hate writing 6's, but I guess this is the year to perfect it. I hope I have my 6's down by June, because then I'll have to write 6-something-06. For now I'll just worry about January, and take each month as it comes.