Baby Brother…

Today my baby brother turns 20… TWENTY!… He has entered my family into two years of my brothers and I being in the same decade… So, in honor of my brother.. here are a few pictures, and 20 things I love about him..

As you can see we have a lot of fun together.. whether it’s just Elijah and I, or our other siblings are with us… or we’re hanging out with friends…  Ok, so on to my 20 list of things I love about my baby brother..

1. He makes me laugh.
2. He loves Jesus fiercely.
3. He is always willing to help those around him.
4. Even though he’s MY baby brother he still is protective over me.
5. We just “get” each other when it comes to most things.
6. We pick on each other mercilessly.. and both love it.
7. He’s still just as cute now as he was as a baby!
8. I can convince him to do anything!
9. He’s fearless.. which usually is awesome!
10. He calls me just to say hey and see what I’ve been up to.
11. I can talk to him for hours.
12. He is compassionate beyond his years.
13. He always somehow is able to swoop in and be there whenever people need him.
14. He gladly totes around kids or is their jungle-gym.
15. He is open to whatever God has planned for him.
16. We team up against our older brother.. and hysterics ALWAYS ensue…
17. He is stubborn and determined.
18. He gives me backrubs and he lets me sit on him all the time.
19. We always have the best stories to share when we’re together.
20. Because he was the perfect little blessing that came into my family’s lives and filled a void after we lost one.

Elijah, I love you more than words can express. My heart swells with pride at who you are and who you are becoming. Thank you for all the laughter, jokes, serious conversations, and even fights! You are the absolute best little brother, and you are so much more precious and special to me than I ever thought you could be. I am amazed all the time at your heart for God and for others, and for all the times that you selflessly step in to help everyone around you. You are awesome, and I am so blessed to be your sister. Ich liebe dich! 😉

Nothing Serious…

There are days and people that just remind me how much fun life can be..

Even though nothing outwardly changed throughout the majority of my weekend or my day yesterday, there were little things that reminded me of the fact that life is meant to be enjoyed, not ever to be drudgery. Praise the Lord.

Over the weekend I was finally able to NOT travel… Don’t get me wrong, I love to travel, but every weekend for a month, plus some week days is a lot… I was in multiple states, on a incredibly high number of airplanes, and I spent more hours in my car than I have logged in a very long time.. I acquired laugh lines (I’m sure), a cough (thank you dry airplanes and sick people), a ton of great memories, a severe lack of sleep, and a whole lot of time to think and pray (which I was really in need of). But, there is also nothing like being able to stay home and do whatever I want or need to for a weekend..

I was able to try a Krav Maga class (not real impressed) and go salsa dancing for the first time in a month (yess!).. I had a chance to lay in our hammock with my roomie and catch up on life over the course of the last month. Talk through thoughts and feelings about various things going on in each of our worlds, and laugh over random things.

I also was informed this weekend throughout the course of a conversation with a couple of friends while out dancing I that, apparently have the very muscular/athletic build, and that is a good and attractive thing. My friend told me that the girl we were all watching dance (and amazed by) reminded him of me, and which was interesting since she looked nothing like me, and was a way better dancer, but he went through the process of explaining that it was the muscular/athletic build… (I maintain that I never know how to respond to the “you look like/remind me of/sound like etc..” comments that I get all the time.) However, it caused a fairly amusing conversation to ensue about the differences between “cute, tiny, and petite” and what I would describe myself as “large, muscular, and athletic.” (not in a bad way, but also not in an attractive way) It was interesting to talk about the differences between what guys and girls see as attractive, but my other friend who was there with us is the classic small, pretty mexican girl, and her perspective was that she is average and normal, but that I was more attractive one of the two of us… when my view was that she (who I happen to think is just stunningly beautiful) is the more attractive one.. and then our guy friend who thought we were both crazy haha

Last night I was reminded how much I love certain aspects of my life, mostly because of the people in it… my sister was gchatting with me while I did homework, she just updated me on life, telling me one hilarious story after another about things going on at home, and we just laughed while we talked and shared perspectives.. then, I was able to have dinner with my roomies (4 out of 5 of us is a win with our schedules!) for the first time in a month or more, and we also laughed, made fun of each other (which really was mostly them all harassing me), swapped random stories, talked about things we were wondering or thinking about, and were typical girls for the first time in a very long time. It was really nice to hang out and just laugh…

I appreciate when life is interesting, when I have no idea what to expect or how to anticipate what is coming next.

God is Wrath…

Today I was able to go to my church here in DC that I love so much ( for the first time in a month.. and the first time since Easter with my roomie (we have both been pretty busy and traveling quite a bit..).. Plus a friend who recently moved to the area joined us.

This summer they are in “The God Anthology” and going through 9 attributes of God.
and Love
Along with the series the worship teams from the different campuses got together and wrote music to accompany the series which also touching on these 9 attributes of God, then later in the summer it has been set up to be recorded live with an all sites combined service.

Anyway, today Heather Zempel the Discipleship pastor spoke on God is Wrath. First, let me say she is one of my favorite speakers. She does a wonderful job blending humor, facts, explanation, and story telling to communicate her message. She blew me away today speaking on God is Wrath, even touching on the nervousness felt when describing the attributes of God we are not comfortable with, and the way in which we try to understand how the hundreds of attributes He has fit into our frame of mind. She eloquently pointed out that “The God of the Old Testament just seems angry, and a lot of Christians have this view that somewhere between Malachi and Matthew God got saved…” I, along with the entire crowd roared with laughter, but, the reality is.. that’s kinda how it seems. Somewhere along the way God went from being a wrath-filled God to a loving God…

And then, she bridged the gap between the two seemingly opposing positions. She pointed out that we EXPECT God to have wrath when a child is abused, when a woman is sold into sex slavery, when people are wiped out due to the color of their skin or the region in which they were born.. That a wrath like reaction to a situation like that would only be fair. That the only thing that would be loving towards those innocents is to wreak havoc and wrath upon the ones doing the harming.. And in fact, if we do not see that wrath from God we feel almost immediately compelled to ask “How can a loving God LET THIS HAPPEN!?”……

At this point, she began unpacking the correlation between love and wrath. In order to have love, there has got to be wrath too. Wrath is the means by which love and grace are extended.

To further explain this point, she explained that in Genesis when Adam and Eve sinned, in order to extend grace and love to humans, God’s wrath was first taken out on an innocent animal, but that Eve was given a name appropriate for her potential, not based on her mistakes…

“Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:20-21

This truth about wrath and love makes sense to me.. but I have never thought about it in this manner before… I am so intrigued.

She also pointed out that with almost every major natural disaster some person goes on national television and makes a statement similar to “this is God’s wrath being poured out on these people because of their sin…” and then the rest of the Christian realm rebuttals with “No it’s not!” To which she points out, God certainly DOES do that in the Bible.. so, it is possible. BUT.. We do not KNOW that to be the case. There is no way to say for sure what God was or was not doing in the midst of the disasters… What we DO know is that, God will use everything to be an avenue for redemption, grace, and love… And, in the end He will be glorified.

While I have never really contemplated the wrath of God, and how it plays perfectly into His love, grace, and mercy for us His children… I am very intrigued by this thought, because the wrath of God is all over the Bible… but so is love.. and grace.. and mercy.. and redemption… They swirl together in harmony in a way that I do not really understand completely, but am glad to have and be made aware of…

Summer Oh Summer…

I do not know about anyone else, but summer’s mere presence makes me feel better.

I love having the freedom to walk outside with anything and not be blasted by bitter fridged temperatures. It  honestly makes me excited every time I do it.. (26 summers down.. who know show many left!)..

I think it is important to point out that my favorite outfit is comfy capris or shorts and a tank-top.. I love being barefoot or in flip flops and having little to no makeup on with my hair some sort of wrangled out of my face (It has been a long time since I have had to figure out how to do that with short hair..).

I always feel better and more confident tan and fit.. and summer and tan go hand in hand for me.

I love driving with my windows down, hair flowing, and music blaring. I love the smells of summer, when you can tell it is going to rain, just rained, or the scorching heat just soaks in and it feels like very bit of my body is filled with sunshine… The heat never bothers me.

There is some sort of excitement and energy about getting caught in a warm summer storm and getting SOAKED before you can make it to shelter… Which leads me to…

I would be remiss to point out that I love the water.. I am a water baby to the core, and would spend every day next to some sort of water if I could. Hence why the summer job of a boat driver was wonderful to me.. Sunshine AND water… mixed with laughing and screaming kids. Loved it!

I seriously treasure night walks in the summer with the residual heat from the day mixing with the attempted cool of the night.. Moonlight, firefly’s, crickets, and frogs creating a surreal ambiance that always makes it feel slightly like a fairytale.

Besides, what would summer be without ice cream, ice drinks, slushies, and lots of fruit!… Some of my favorite things.

There is a freedom that comes with summer, even to this day, even though I work full time and am in school, I always feel more hopeful in the summer. The days are longer, the opportunities feel endless, and the energy is contagious.

I love summer, it is by far, hands down, my favorite season.

A Note to Those Christians…

It never ceases to amaze me how some of the most rude, condescending, judgmental, and hypocritical people are also the ones who claim to be christians. This week for some reason I have either come up against those kind of christians or I have listened to other Christians express hurt or frustration from an unpleasant encounter. So, here are a few remarks I have said or would like to say to the christians that exhibit a large amount of gracelessness and mercilessness.

First and foremost, we have been given this incredible gift of grace and mercy. One which we did NOT earn, we did not ask for, and we most certainly did not pay for. The only appropriate response is to turn around and do the same to those around us.. Giving them a glimpse of what we are completely aware of.

Second, your sins and my sins have been FORGIVEN. Which means stop freaking bringing up things from the past and running your mouth about what someone should or should not have done in any given situation. There is a distinct difference between calling someone out for actions for which they need to be called out for (mind you, just because you SEE something does not mean God has bestowed the task of taking care of it… Holy Spirit will let you know..) and berating someone or making it clear you look down on them (as though you are above them) for a mistake they have made in the past…

Which brings me to a subset.. If someone has a mistake/sin from their past, and you are merely aware of it.. you have no rights to claim emotions or feelings towards their mistake. You were not a part of it, nor was it intended towards you. That sin is between them, whoever was involved, and God.. Butt out… (I do recognize that sometimes past sins can cause pain to someone not involved.. that is something that needs to be taken to the Lord, not used against the person.)

Thirdly, please remember one crucial thing. God is God, you are not. He does not need you to fix things for Him, He is perfectly capable on His own… And, please learn the difference between your own feelings and emotions and “feeling something in the Spirit.” It would make everyone’s (even your) life so much better. You are not the morals police.

Cuatro, just because you feel strongly about something, does not mean everyone else should.. There is a reason we are referred to as “a body” we each have our roles, soap boxes, and fights.. But that does not mean you should make yours someone else’s.. such as piercings, tattoos, owning a home, investing etc.. While all of those things could be right or wrong depending on the person and the situation, you are not tasked with making sure everyone around you believes the same way or feels beat upon for thinking something different..

Now, on to some things I honestly believe we should all practice.. Love. Do not mistake my “love’ to mean the cute hearts and rainbows kind. The false love that never says no.. I am talking about genuine heartfelt “I care about you too much to let you fall” kinda love.. The love that would cause you to die for someone. It is commonly understood that the more something is mentioned in the Bible the more important it is. The word Love (in one of several versions agape, phileos, aros, etc..) is mentioned more than 900 times in the Bible (I dare you to find a page in the bible without at least one “love” in it.), meaning this is a crucially important topic to understand. Just because you have the right to say something, does not mean God gave you the green light on His behalf. Choose your words carefully, and make sure your heart is approaching it with their best in mind.

Lastly, stop pretending like you are doing God a favor, He’s already paid for your sins and theirs. Live your life so that it gives glory to God, and to speak words that show you are worthy of the call of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


Well, it happened with every other class, it only made sense it would happen with this one too… I have NO idea what I am doing. None. Thankfully I am at the end of week 5 instead of in the middle of week 1 like in Accounting. Also, thankfully so far I have a high 90’s grade.. although, if I do not somehow figure out this homework I am still pretty toasted in this class :/ I don’t know if it is sad or amazing that I have a couple people who have offered to help..

But, regardless, I am so unbelievably thankful to those people for even being willing to sit through my confusion and frustration to help me.

Homework Reminder…

While I honestly dislike being in school, especially learning about things that I (still) struggle to find relevance in learning.. which means my determination and dedication falter more than I care to admit.. One of the biggest things I am reminded of is how much people intrigue me. Numbers, theories, formulas, ideas do not appeal to me at all… just people. I love thinking and trying to figure out the reasons behind why they respond certain ways, think the way they do have the thought process or ideas that they do. I love people watching.. and I don’t mean just sitting in a mall and watching people walk by, I mean actually observing people’s facial expressions, body language, voice, etc.. and just trying to determine what I can learn about them from these observations.

There are SO many times that I have been watching people and before I could catch myself, literally burst out laughing from a facial expression or something they did… Then of course it is always slightly awkward trying to cover up the laughter.. but, still always something I enjoy.

Children are among my favorites, especially the way they interact with adults, and the things they bring out of adults. Sometimes funny, sometimes pathetic, sometimes sad, and other times infuriating.. But, always interesting.

I also like to play with people a little sometimes.. In meetings with people I will adopt certain hand motions or body posture just to see if the person will mimic me (because then you know they respect you haha).. Or other times I will say something completely off the wall or out of place just to see how they recover from it. It amazes me how thrown off people can get by someone being straight forward… I always learn so much about people in these interactions… and I love it..

But, instead, here I sit.. on the couch with my computer.. avoiding my stats homework.. Lameo.