Mustard Seeds

Mustard Seeds

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bee is Back!!!

2 doors from a junk yard near TJ + 1 week of my dad being a genius + 1 Mr. Clean Magic Eraser + 2 hours of tender loving care with the eraser + 1 car wash = Bee is Back in Business!!!

And I bought some touch up paint from the dealer today so she might look even better soon! Happy New Year Bee!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Share the Wealth

I think I am officially addicted to clothes that give back. Here are a few different things I have been supporting lately. These are only three ways to buy clothes that benefit someone else thought...there is a ton of stuff out there like this.

Krochet Kids Beanies
A group of guys got the idea to teach women in Uganda how to knit. So they did!The women also learn how to start and run a business through the making and selling of beanies (there are more styles to choose from). The money goes to help them support their families. Each beanie has a handwritten name, of the women who knit it, inside and the one I bought has a removable pom pom! =)

These necklaces are made from recycled paper turned beads (the paper is wrapped and coated). They are made by women of the Massai tribe and the money goes completely back into their community and families. There are a lot more products on the website beside jewelry too. You can even buy chickens for the Massai tribe in Africa.

I have definitely talked about these before. Buy one pair and one pair is given to a child in need.This is the new style with optional laces. Thanks Santa!

New Years Life Resolutions

Instead of New Years Resolutions (which are destined to be forgotten) I realized I need life changes this year. I need to be proactive. For instance, I often say something or react in a certain way to a situation and then really wish I could go back in time. I say to myself, "stop doing that. Stop reacting in negativity and irritation," and I go on with my day. So the next time a similar situation comes around I react in the same exact way. I should go one step further and think, "If this is how I don't want to act then what would reacting well look like? What would a godly reaction look like?" This preventative thinking has actually helped me not snap at my family as much and it has kept me more positive in situations I normally would become angry about. It has also helped me evaluate what I want to change in my speech and in my actions and in turn make lifestyle changes that will last much longer then February. Here are some concepts God laid on my heart last night that I need to eradicate from my life:


These things are not healthy, not productive, and not helpful. They ruin and prevent healing for me and they create a barrier around me that prevents me from trusting God and loving people. They need to be taken away from me, stripped from my life (especially control). It scares me to admit God needs to take these things away from me. I hesitated to write it last night in my journal because when we ask things in God's will he will provide them. In other words, asking to have my control and my desire for people's approval away from me means that he will take them away. Especially since I could feel God leading me to admit I have no control over my life (I just have perceived control as my friend Kristin says). I need to be shown what it means to be humble and broken before the Lord. I want to be close to God and be living in his Holy Spirit. It might take force. It might come easily. But either way the challenge it presents is something I will have to be walking in the Lord for this year.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Faith for Thought

Even if you are a self-proclaimed "skeptic", and only believe in things you can prove, you still have faith. You assume you won't get in a car accident on the way home, you assume the sun will rise in the morning even though it is hid from you at night, you assume the logic you used to prove something is infallible despite the fact that we don't know everything about our world yet. You have faith that your science is perfect, the world will continue on as you believe it will, and that you will live another day. You can't "prove" any of the things we assume and because of that everyone has faith in something. The difference is that Christians have faith in a God that created the world, created us, and created knowledge.

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
- Hebrews 11:1
[concept from Jay Beckley, pastor of Stone Creek Bible Church]

Friday, December 25, 2009

Kid Cousin

Why is it that boy's toys have tons of tiny pieces that are always "assembly required"? What happened to baby dolls and Barbies that were ready to play with right out of the package? (if you could get them out of all those twisty ties that is)

This dinosaur had over 40 pieces and it took forever to get him assembled (and then he was too top heavy to stand up correctly). My cousin would never have been able to do it on his own either because the pieces were super tight and not easy to pop together. The Alien Factory Nicholas got was a whole other story. This lovely toy let you create aliens out of teeny-tiny arms and legs. That was intense. Luckily I created the dinosaur and Kimberly tackled the aliens.

One thing I realized though... He is worth it. Seeing his eyes light up when he saw a completed alien and watching him figure out how to work the legs on the dinosaur was priceless. It reminded me that God did and does that for us. We celebrate Christmas because he sent his son, Jesus, to make our lives worth something. He took the little pieces, the details he created in us, and gave us a purpose. He works all the little arms and legs of our lives together for our good and his glory when we trust in him and follow him. It's incredible! I love being reminded of how everything  in my life fits together for God's glory if I let it. I have the opportunity to worship a patient, loving God who cares about the millions of pieces it took to create me and the million more events that happen in my life everyday.

 Waiting for the aliens.
Christmas Eve.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

New Ideas, Old Tradition

I have always been in love with books and I had a substantial bookmark collection in elementary school (I still have it but it hasn't grown much since then). So every Christmas, since I was old enough to draw, I have made bookmarks for all of my family members. But last year I forgot to make some and everybody noticed. That's just the way it is with traditions I guess. Well this year I couldn't think of a single thing to make... until last night. These are not bookmarks per-say but they could be if you wanted to stick them in between some pages. Basically, I am deviating from the tradition and crossing my fingers it will fly. (Unfortunately my Aunt already asked if I made bookmarks this year so I showed her these. She huffed. Not a good sign.)

They tell the story of Christmas (the Luke 2:1-20 part) and are an awesome reminder that there is a reason we celebrate Christmas, which I think is way better then a bookmark.

The original idea came from a Christian home decor magazine (think Martha Stewart + Jesus) but I Steph-a-phyd them with more ribbon and I put my favorite verses in a bigger font.
[to see the magazine click here:]


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What Matters Most

College is flying by and all of the details and small memories are disappearing with it. I don't remember all the conversations I have had, all the laughs, or all of the excursions I have been on. But I do remember some things. And those memories are easy to categorize because they are the moments where God has romanced me and when he has showed up in my life. I can easily relive the lessons he has taught me and the lies he has revealed in my life. I can look back and see my walk with the Lord weaving in and out of my experiences. I realized today that these are the things that will continue on after I graduate, after I get a job, and through the rest of my life. The sweater I wanted at the mall, the argument I got in with my sister yesterday, ans the grade I got on my essay won't last in my memories. But the times I surrender my control to the Lord, the times I freely praise him, the way he wants to teach me something in everything I do will. Those are the things that matter. Investing in clothes, facebook, and people (when I use them as an excuse to not spend time with God) does not honor the Lord. They do not bring me closer to God and make my walk with him better.

So when choosing what to do with my break I keep hearing God tell me...
"Spend it with me." "Sit in my presence." "Come and be satisfied." "Make me your priority."
And when I think of going back to school and work for the new quarter I hear...
"Don't dread it, rely on me." "Don't be complacent, I matter!" "Know that I am God."

So what am I going to do with my break? Go on dates with Jesus or watch recorded reruns of CSI? Sadly I spent longer in front of the tube then with Jesus today but for the rest of break...
I hope I pick Jesus.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Listen Up Boys...

Here are some "Christian" pick-up lines that I recently found on a facebook group. I thought they were pretty funny so I narrowed down the list of over 100 to this group of lines.
So guys?... Pick one and try it out. If the girl understands it, you've picked a winner. =P

- "nice bible."
- "is this pew taken?"
- "i would go through more than Job for you"
- "what, this here? oh.. that's my study bible - it's a little bigger but i can handle the extra spiritual and physical weight."
- "the word says 'Give drink to those who are thirsty, and feed the hungry'; how about dinner?"
- "i believe one of my ribs belongs to you."
- "i can be your Boaz."
- "my favorite species of vegetation is the church plant."
- "is that a thin line, duo-tone, compact, ESV Travel Bible in your pocket?"
- "your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Gilead"
- "how many times do I have to walk around you to make you fall for me?"
- "how would you like to join my Purpose Driven Life?"
- "unfortunately i cant perform miracles and i've only got enough bread and fish for 2 people."
- "so, my parents are home, you wanna come over?"
- "its obvious to me that you sprouted from the good kinda soil..."
- "i'm interested in full time ministry, and not only that... i also play the guitar."
- "i arranged the substantial christian section of my bookshelf into alphabetical order. coffee?"
- "i have familiarized myself with all 5 love languages, in fact, i invented 4 of them."
- "i predicted David over Goliath... now I'm betting on you and me."
- "i would have asked you out to dinner, but i just put all my money in the offertory basket."
- " I saw Chris Tomlin in concert once."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Heaven and Hell

My dad loves listening to Christian radio. You know, the kind where it is sermon after talk after cheesy worship song after sermon. So yesterday we listened to an interveiw of a Christian Chinese man, Pastor Paul, who had been thrown in jail where he was beaten and persecuted. Instead of feeling sorry for himself he witnessed to his cell mates (mostly murderers on death row) and other fellow prisoners. Many of them came to Christ and shared with other people. He has some incredible stories. He was released after a few years because there had been a mistake in the trial and he wasn't supposed to even be in prison in the first place. He had made such an impression on the guards however that they actually apologized for their mistake. In China! Anyway, he now leads around 1,000 people to Christ every year through his preaching and example as a believer. One thing he said (through a translator) really stuck out to my dad and me. He said....

Don't go to jail while you are living.
Don't go to Hell when you die.

It's that simple.


When good things break we cringe and are saddened by a good thing made imperfect... Hearts. Cars. Family. Bones.

But when bad things break we rejoice... A Fever. A Bad Relationship. A Long Silence.

These things need to be broken. It is a desirable shattering of... Our Pride. Will. Control. Idols. Selves.

Only when we allow these things (these precious parts of ourselves) to be fractured can we be filled with good things, great things. Traits and qualities that should create a deep sadness in us when they become cracked and chipped. Passion. Love for God. Humility. Smallness.

These things should remain intact, whole. Because they are good we should weep when they are broken. We need to be ripped from our sin and control and be made humble by it. That is a good thing.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Canyon Hiking

Survival Guide When Hiking With My Dad:

1. You might be encouraged to crawl through tiny holes in boulders. Don't worry though. There is always a way out after getting wedged in.
2. You might have to slide down slick rocks that will result in a broken bone should you fall off. Make sure Dad is there to catch you when you gain speed and can't stop.
3. When bouldering up waterfalls make sure Dad can make it. Foot and hand holds that worked for you might not work for a grown man.
4. Be prepared to go farther then everyone else (along cliffs if need be) to try and see the Hoover Dam.
5. When he tells you to go the hard way up a rock face instead of around it... do it. It is way more exciting.
6. Be able to climb huge rocks. Have fun.

Take pictures too! =)
 The only one with both of our faces completely in it.

 Colorado River below the Dam. It was extremely low.
 This hike had a ton of hot springs, waterfalls and such.
 The new bridge over the Hoover Dam... and half of my face.
 Mi Padre.
The Crevice we climbed up... I had to be pulled a little bit. =)
(Aunt Pam and Cousin Scott)

 Scott and I.. and a waterfall.
Hot springs make some pretty crazy colored algae.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Damage

The front...

and the back.

Can 3 mechanically minded men make it work???

Note Chris' face on the left... he is disappointed while my dad just seems amused.

It is good to be home?

Pedal. Think. Pedal. Think. Stop. Type. Pedal. Think. Pedal. Listen. Cringe. Pedal. Process. Pedal. Stop. Type.

This is how the majority of this post was written; in between navigating the soft dirt of the motorcycle track on my sister’s Kmart beach cruiser and watching my dad tear apart my car with power tools and metal cutters. Why am I aimlessly biking around and why is my dad ripping apart the metal on my car you ask? Read on...

I was nervous to drive all the way home yesterday. My last blog post is proof of that. But after driving for ten minutes it was no big deal. Jake (my old roommate’s brother and old friend) was an awesome co-pilot and we had a lot to talk about. We made awesome time getting to Ventura where we ate Taco Bell, bought some snacks at the gas station, complained about the cruddy Dr. Pepper quality at this TB, and bragged about how well everything was going. Continuing on to LA... We missed where we were going somehow and ended up on the 405 North (In other words, we were on the completely wrong exit). So I changed lanes to get off the freeway. Enter large moving truck thing. Enter car accident. I didn’t see it, Jake didn’t see it. But Bee (my car) felt it. My dad thinks it was their fault since they hit me in the back and continued to destroy the whole side of my car but no matter who’s fault it was (I was changing lanes so I am still at fault too) hitting this lovely “Paper Shredding Company” truck did nothing to help my car. It should be named a “Car Shredding Company.” It is now totaled in the legal sense of the word (in other words it will cost more to fix it, 7 grand, then it is worth). But my Dad has hope. He is in the garage tearing apart the doors to see if he can repair enough of the damage to make it drivable. Hopefully the doors I need are even available in a junkyard.

On the way home Jake and I decided that the glass was half full, or at least damp from the dishwasher.
Here is why:

1. The car did not swerve or waver in its course. Bee held strong and kept going strait so we were not in danger of hitting any other cars (even though the impact was mainly in the front of my car and should have caused us to spin).
2. When we pulled off at the next exit at a gas station it just happened to be an auto repair shop. We were able to get the ok to drive home from a mechanic. Plus, he was really nice.
3. I wasn’t alone. Jake was a huge comfort and he was very positive and calm throughout the whole thing. There is something about hugs that just make things better.
4. No one was injured.
5. When we pulled onto Jake’s street there was a huge shooting star (we thought it was plane at first). God has shown himself to me in that way before and it was an incredible reminder that He was watching over us.

1. The traffic report on the radio after that said a freeway was blocked because of a flipped over semi. That is way scarier.
2. I watched “The Blindside” with my sister last night. Talk about not having anything! If you see it, which I highly recommend, you will realize even more how much that movie can put my accident into perspective.
3. My mom told me on the phone, “It is just a car. It is just money. Just come home.” It was very good advice for me when I was bawling and still is good advice. There are more important things in life then my car.
4. My family and friends keep reassuring me that it is much more important that we are safe. Which is true.

1. I wouldn’t let Laura drive my car because I didn’t have collision insurance. Apparently I shouldn’t be driving either.
2. I was veeerrryyy excited to not have to drive a motorcycle anymore. Now it is looking pretty good sitting on the back porch.
3. Instead of being “Bee” for Boat or Beast my car is “Bee” for Battle Scarred (thank my dad for that name).

Now don't get me wrong. I am still very sad about the whole thing. One look from a mechanic my dad trusts and he said "no, not going to happen." I cried. I talked to my aunt Pam on the phone and she said, "Don't beat yourself up about it. You are safe." I cried. I talked to my friend Travis about it. I cried afterwards. I cried after talking to Laura too. I guess this is one material thing I am really attached to... and emotional about. =)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cars and Motorcyles

Things I have had to get used to:

- More breaks are needed with a automatic car compared to a motorcycle
- I have to use breaks downhill? The engine no longer holds my speed steady.
- No rain, no cold, no elements.
- Also... no outdoor smells, no hard coreness =P, and no feel for the road.
- It is not as easy to park.
- GAS!!! Costs a ton.
- I can take people and stuff places!
- No more layers and helmet hair.
- I am drving home tomorrow!!! Nervous! (The farthest I have gone in a car is Templeton [20 miles] and now I am going to Temecula [300+ miles].) Eeek!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Front Lines

Hey friends! So I have prayer request if you would like something to pray for! =)

A handful of my friends are going to SF this week to share with people and serve the Lord in a ton of different ways. They could use prayer for their safety, effectiveness, and stamina (they have very packed days). Also for the hearts of the people they are going to talk to, feed, love on, and share with. Prayer for the people already ministering in the area (that they are teaming up with) would be awesome too!

I am really excited for them to be on the front lines ministering to the hurting people of San Francisco. But we are on the battlefield too. We can support them with our prayers and encouragement. The base is no less important then the ground troops! =)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

God's Love in an Essay?

I decided to share my final paper from my Intercultural Communication class (I discussed this earlier). This is only a third of the paper (the other two sections were reveiws of the class and a disscussion of key terms) but it is the most important part. Also known as, the biggest part of my grade and the most God-oriented. I wasted a lot of time getting started and then spent a little more time worrying about answering the prompt. God lead me to just write though and this is what came out. I have no idea how my teacher will take it but it is honest and shares my heart as a daughter of The King... I hope.

My Life Philosophy

[Read above post first!!!]

Everything I do, everything I think, and everything I am committed to, stems from my relationship with God. So how I communicate, both in my non-verbal cues and verbal speech, comes from the most basic view I hold about the world; “For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:16+17). God sent his Son, Jesus to live in the world as a human in order to die on a cross for our sins (the sentence for a common criminal at that time). He took all of our mistakes and sins upon himself so we could be wiped clean by accepting him. When he rose from the dead, and ascended to Heaven, three days later he made it possible for us to believe in him and live eternally in Heaven with God.

So as a person-in-the-world I view the world based on the idea that God is the creator and ruler of everything. A simplified description of life for me could be described as God creates people, they are born, people fall away from God’s intended plan (that they should be in a relationship with him), and people either accept Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection for their sins or they don’t come back to the Lord at all. I already knew some people do not agree with that and they have views that differ from mine but this class helped me to see how effectively I can communicate with people even though we don’t agree on the most important part of my life. To me the Bible is truth and God is the ruler of my life but I can still communicate with people who don’t agree with me.

How my ideas translate into my actions is easy. I know that the Lord has a plan for my life and it is better then anything I can create for myself. So I try to consult him in all of my decisions. His timing is way different then mine (because he is not restricted by time) but if I follow him he is always glorified in the end and I am always left praising him for working in my life. For instance, when I walked away from the Lord in middle school I was in a very dark place where I felt alone amidst crowds of family and friends. But God clearly spoke to me through his Holy Spirit one day when I was thinking of cutting my wrists. He said, “You are my child and I have better things planned for you. I love you and do not want this for you. Please don’t do this to yourself.” So I set the razor back down and turned back to him. Through years of arguing with God and holding onto my depression he eventually took my negative ideas of myself and the world away from me and replaced them with hope and peace. Jeremiah 29:11+12 captures this idea well. “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you and hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me and I will hear you.” He is a personal God who is invested in our lives and responds when we call on him. Nothing in our lives is too small for him to care about and nothing is too big for him to handle. I can pray about my finals and he will give me peace or show me that in the long run they are not as important as I think they are. He can teach me anything through taking a final but whatever it is that he wants to show me I guarantee it will be worth learning.

I have days where I don’t trust God and don’t communicate with him but those days are always the most stressful or the most disheartening. It is infinitely better when I let him have control of my life. God is the biggest part of my life and because of that, when I do something, I have a purpose in doing it. My purpose is to share God’s love with people in what I do, what I say, and how I interact with people. I don’t want to push my beliefs or God on people but I do want everyone to have the opportunity to accept God’s free gift of salvation. When I go to a different country or even to the grocery store I try to take every opportunity to share Jesus with people. If they don’t want to hear it I don’t push it because that doesn’t benefit either of us. I just offer the opportunity for people to hear about God’s saving love. Overall, I act because I love God and I want everyone to have the same relationship with him. It is the same as sharing a love for food or Phish [my teacher’s favorite band and what he did his dissertation on] with people. Just giving them the opportunity to experience it is not un-intercultural at all. It is instead very intercultural because it is allowing others to experience different cultures. They have the choice to try the new experience or not participate.

To me communicating is another part of my life where I should be representing Christ. I sometimes fail and am not an example of God’s love but for the most part that is why I communicate. To express my desire to see all people experience God’s love. Not because I feel superior to those who don’t (No one is any more superior then another because of what they believe.) but because I am so changed by God and so excited about what he is doing in my life.

I am committed to sharing my faith. I am committed to relying on the Lord. I am committed to taking every opportunity to share the hope I have in God. I am also committed to not being pushy. I am committed to not force anything on anyone. I am committed to let God’s love do the work because I cannot change hearts, only he can.

Love Stealing

Because Laura loves me...
she proof-read my essay at 2 in the morning last week. It helped a ton and made all of my stupid mistakes things of the past.

Because I love Laura...
I stole her internet cable so she HAS to write her essay and she can't stalk my sister's photography business or go on facebook. She needs sleep more then procrastination! =)

I am admittedly pretty proud of myself. I even tied bows around it so she can store it behind her desk nicely! Love is fun. =)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


[written last night]
I turned in my paper and practically ran out the door to come bake cookies at my Grandma's house. Pounds of sprinkles and a few scoops of dough (in my belly) later, I am sitting here waiting for dinner. It smells soooo good and I can't wait to eat something other then sugar. (Did I mention I am drinking Dr. Pepper? Life is so good.)

[written today]
Not only was making and eating Christmas Cookies wonderful (I am very much in the spirit now.) but the conversation I had with my Grandma was the biggest blessing of the day (maybe even of the past few weeks).
Background: After thanksgiving break I was really disheartened by my idea that my family doesn't understand me. I feel like they just don't get where I am coming from most of the time. This is not a new struggle for me but one that I haven't encountered to this extreme in a long time.

Well God decided to once again debunk Satan's lies in my head. This time through my Grandma. We talked about life and our hearts and our struggles while she rolled out the dough and I sprinkle-decorated wreaths, poinsettas, airplanes, and Santa's many beards. Come to find out, she completely gets me! One conversation topic after another she explained to me exactly what was on my heart because it is exactly her heart as well. At age 73 she is feeling the exact same way I am feeling at age 20. I can't even explain how amazing it was. I guess I am not adopted after all. =)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Our Gorgeous God

Isaiah 53:2 speaks of Jesus not as an attractive, handsome man but as having "no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him." Jesus was not the poster child for young, single Hebrew men. He wasn't a fashion model or a guy that all the ladies goggled over. That just isn't important. People flocked to him because he was God. He was wise, kind, and compassionate. And when you think about it...

God is beautiful. You can see it in a solid film score (think Braveheart, Lord of the Rings, or the newest Batman movies), the clouds building up on the horizon, the green rolling hills that surround this campus after one day of rain, smiles on the faces of junior highers as they skate around downtown. In a God-sent conversation, a series of hugs and kisses on the cheek from a Grandparent, a flour covered kitchen, a hill speckled with chocolate and coal colored cows, in a crisp day, in the turning in of an essay or the finishing of a final. Take the time to look for it this week. God's beauty is everywhere!

Thank you camera phone, you did your best to capture the sky's beauty. God outdid you by a long shot though.

It was a breathtaking drive... this doesn't come close.

Life Philosophy?

Tonight and tomorrow I have to write a five page explanation of my personal philosophy on life. This may seem easy, just share the gospel! Right? I hope so. Just keep in mind that this is for the class where I got a C on a paper for saying this:

"I don’t expect everyone to agree with me but it just breaks my heart all the more for the people who have not experienced God’s love in their life and who do not know the saving power of God’s free gift."

Apparently you can't be a good intercultural communicator and still believe people need Jesus. Prayer for this essay would be stellar. I will let you all know how it goes!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Muchos Gracias

This week I have a lot of people to thank. So... some shout outs for the week:

Laura - For proof-reading my memoir at 2 in the morning. It was really helpful. And for being the best roommate ever!

Anita (my hair stylist) - For getting the black out of my hair tonight! I now have a semi-natural hair color and I am well on my way to my normal hair.

Mom - For offering to pay for the color extraction! I would still have black-brown-blond hair if she hadn't.

Joey - For the well timed encouragement. He didn't know I really needed it but God gave him the right words at the right time.

Professor Wilhelm - For being patient and extremely helpful as I re-wrote my paper at the last possible minute.

Jesus - For helping me keep a level head through all the stress and late nights. For redeeming me so that I had something important to say in my memoir. (Potentially more to come of this.)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Dollar tacos with Laura and Hannah.
Christmas music turned worshipful praise at Crusade.
English tea and Irish cookies.
Soft fuzzy pajamas.
Rewriting my 15 page memoir.
Staying up all night tonight...

I am trying to see the cup as half full right now, the cookies are helping. Crusade was amazing tonight and the message was powerful (thank you Pastor James). He told us to place all of our fragments in the hands of Jesus because God will use them! Such a good reminder that we don't need to know anything or be perfect for God to use us. We just need to be willing to follow Him.

Anyway, off to write some more and stay up longer! =)