Thursday, July 28, 2011


{I've debated about whether or not to write this post, it's a hard experience to put into words. However, I think it'll be therapeutic in a sense to write it}

At camp last week, something tragic happened. Our social worker, who helps with the adoption, and her three beautiful adopted girls were killed. Gone. In a split-second, they were dead. Laurel and her family were on a vacation in Wyoming. While leaving their camp grounds because of a severe storm, they were caught in a nine feet deep flash flood. They were trapped in their car and couldn't get out. The father, Alex, survived. The rest of his family didn't.

"The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord"
Jeremiah 29:11
Taken from my diary:

July 20, 2011
"Our good friends Laurel and her three beautiful children were killed yesterday. There are no words. As my brother Caleb walked up to me with tears in his eyes and told me that my parents wanted to talk to us, I had a feeling that something was wrong. Dad took us outside of the conference center and told us that Laurel and her three children's lives had been taken in a flash flood that day. I was heartbroken, and here, hours after the shock, I still have to words to describe it...My heart hurts. I long for the possibility that the news reporters are wrong and that they're still alive, even though I know that isn't the case. They're gone. In the blink of an eye. When they woke up that morning, they didn't know it would be their last day on this earth. God was the only one who knew this would happen. While I know God is in control, it still hurts. It's easy to sit here and just think "why?" But I know God's plan is perfect. Throughout my life, I've never gone through something like this. It's hard. Really hard. But I am resting in the fact that I know my Savior has a plan for all of this in my life. We serve an amazing God."

On Wednesday, as I walked into the memorial service, Moriah holding my hand, I felt so many differing emotions. I felt tears streaming down my face as I looked at the pictures of those three beautiful girls and their mother. Their smiling faces, their almond shaped Asian eyes. Laurel's amazing high-lighted hair and her nose ring {I always thought it was the cool-est thing known to mankind.} As people walked up to the podium, their hands grasping Kleenex and trying not to cry, they spoke of their favorite memories about the girls. How Zoey adored the color orange, how Hannah was "the little mother," and how Lucy was amazingly resilient for everything she had gone through in her little life.

I'm still heart-broken about it. I still have trouble believing that they are actually gone. I know that it will take time to heal, and my heart just aches for their father and husband. His whole world is gone--I can not even imagine.

Through all this sadness, I am taking a lot of comfort in the fact that God knows the number of our days. Before we were even born he had planned out our entire lives. While I struggle with the "whys" I remember that God knows why. God knows that this is for our good, and most importantly, God's glory.

It's been a hard week, but I am thankful for God's word that is so comforting in times of suffering. How grateful I am to be resting in the assurance that God is in control.

"See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal." Deuteronomy 32:39

Monday, July 25, 2011

just one week, but one amazing one.

I am back from Summer Camp. Back into the real world. I find myself back in the same world I was in before camp but it feels different. I feel renewed. I feel encouraged. I feel ready again to face the real world after a week of living in a world that seems quite different from this one. This last week was completely amazing. Honestly, when I sit down at my desk and try to find words that describe it, I am at a loss to explain it and all the loveliness it held.

The lectures we had each morning where filled with biblical truths, and I found myself with my pencil and paper trying to capture every detail in my notes as the pastor spoke. I sat there every morning during our discussion time and realized how much I was learning and realizing. What an amazing God we serve!

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While I was tired from staying up until midnight, evening after evening, it was such a week of rest. Being around God's people who encourage you in your faith is such a blessing. To be reunited with the friends I met last year who I love so dearly, to meet new people and become such close friends so fast, and to spend time with friends that I have the privilege of seeing every week was absolutely splendid. It makes me look at the marvelous gift God has given me in my friends and sisters in Christ--there are no words that I could use that would truly describe the love and thankfulness I have for them.

There were times when you walked around the camp and all you could hear were the excited bursts of laughter and the screams of children playing together as if they were best friends even though they had just met each other not even five minutes before.

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Spending time with family while walking to the snack shop to buy a soda or talking on the porch of our cabin late into the night listening to the crickets are moments I took mental pictures of to cherish for the rest of my life.

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While we were there, something tragic happened {that I will elaborate on at a later date}. While I sat outside with my bible on my lap and tears streaming down my face, my friends were there for me and my family while we were grieving. Being in the mountains surrounded by God's creation during that time of sadness was such a tremendous blessing.

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At Horn Creek, there is this tiny chapel. Inside of it there are 6 little pews. In the front of it is a cross with nails and a hammer. People nail their prayers and favorite verses onto it. The walls are covered with index cards with people's thoughts and prayers written on them. The windows at the front of the chapel look out over the camp--come cabins, the mountains, and the beautiful blue sky. I went there with a couple of my friends/sisters and we sang psalms, read the bible, prayed, and talked--it was such a beautiful quiet little place and I returned there many times during the week.

As I laid in my bed one night, listening to my dad snoring, I began to just think about how much I love this camp. I said it last year, and I'll say it again, it's one of my favorite places on earth.

There were several times where the city girl in me came out and I wasn't in love with the bugs in the bathroom or the dirt that flew into my nachos during the rodeo thanks to the wild mustangs.

But when you look outside from the window of your cabin you're taken back by the beauty of the tall pine trees, the nest of baby birds right by the rocking chair outside, or the butterflies flying by so gracefully--it takes the breath right from your lungs as you gaze at the Lord's beautiful creation.

The rush of the water over your head as you dove into the pool or the sounds of people talking with each other late into the night are the things that makes this particular week of the year so enjoyable.

Though it was only my second year at this camp, I found myself reliving so many memories. As if going back in time or some how traveling through all the pictures I took the previous year.

I feel as I did last year when I returned from camp- renewed. Rejuvenated. I learned so much in one short week, it would make a person wonder if my head were about to explode.
After the convicting lectures we had faithfully every morning I feel an urge to share with others the gospel. I feel a real need to continue to spend time in God's word. I believe that even though it was only seven days, that I grew immensely in my faith.

I am thankful. For life. For friends. For family. But foremost, I am thankful for Christ and the new life we have been given in Him.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

awkward and awesome thursday 7.14.11


1. Falling flat on my face and breaking my finger. I'm very graceful, no? {and ouch!}

2. Dropping about half of my ice cream cone onto the very front of my shirt while at the mall with my friend. Have I ever told mentioned I'm a complete klutz?

{stolen from my friend's facebook :)}

3. Trying to fit a 10 page letter to my cousin in one envelope...let's just say it didn't work.

4. While going to check facebook, realizing that the mouse was backwards. (so that's why it wasn't working!)

5. Seeing a man sit down while going down on an escalator. That's one way to tie a shoe.


1. finally setting up a facebook page for my blog! Click here if you'd like to "like" it! ;)

2. packing to go to camp! I'm leaving tomorrow, and couldn't be more excited.


3. finding out that my two brothers in China got to meet each other last Sunday! Love, love love!


4. Huge shopping trips to Old Navy before a trip. Finding a dress made this girl very happy.

5. This picture...

{something else that's awkward? I didn't end up posting this until today, friday! oops!}

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


As I sit here, the rain pouring down from the sky, the sounds of classical music in the background, I am reminded of all we have been given in our blessed lives. Sometimes, or I should say, too often, I begin to dwell on the things in my life that I wish were different or the things that I'm struggling with. While those things do have places in our world, I like to begin to think about all I have been given, all I have in Christ, and all that makes the world beautiful. As I watch the sun slip behind a cloud, or hear the chirping of birds outside my window, or open my bible to a beautiful passage in the Psalms, it makes me thankful.

The fourth of July was beautiful.

The fourth of July was amazing.

The fourth of July was full of memories...and I loved it.

We went to my Aunt's house. It's a beautiful farm house in the country, I loved the scenery around it.

It was such a pleasure to spend time with family and friends, making memories, recounting past days of smiles and laughter.

It was a wonderful day. One of those days where you just sit back and breathe in the moment. Savoring each laugh, each hug, each minute spent with the people you love.

It made me thankful for the freedom we have. The ability to worship the Lord, the freedom of speech, and our country in general. I love the fourth--the feeling of patriotism, the love of our country, and our heavenly father that has given it to us.

{watch the video!}

How was your fourth of July?

{p.s. I'm sorry this post was a bit late, things have been pretty busy, but that's life, and i love it}

Sunday, July 3, 2011

the weekend.

"There aren't enough days in the weekend." ~ Rod Schmidt

Ah, the weekend. Two days of pure bliss. Saturdays full of going place to place, grocery shopping, and bedroom tidying.

This weekend was filled with not only the joy that every weekend brings, but also the excitement of a birthday. Caleb turned eleven on Saturday. It's hard to believe that he's already eleven. I can still remember the day he was born, it was thrilling to become a "big sister."

We started the day off with- what else? Presents.

Josiah wrapped his first present-just for Caleb. It made me smile.

After that, we made our way to the bagel shop for breakfast. The smells of coffee and bagels spilled deliciously out of the cafe as we sat outside enjoying the breeze and the chirping of birds.

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The rest of the morning and afternoon was spent enjoying everything that is the weekend. When evening finally came, we piled into the car and drove to the movie theater. Caleb wanted to see Mr. Popper's Penguins, which was actually pretty hilarious, although some of the humor was more the type that ten year old boys would adore, that being said, my brothers loved it.

Then came Sunday, one of my favorite days of the week. There is nothing more refreshing then hearing God's word preached faithfully every Sunday morning by our pastor. After church, our grandparents, uncle, and cousin came over for lunch and cake.

It was a wonderful weekend, and I'm so thankful for the breath of fresh air that we get at the end of every week.

{Here's a small video of the weekend}

So, how was your weekend?