Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Three Things I Know to Be True

My darling daughter,

Three things I know to be true at the age of 25:

This year, more so than ever, I have learned that waiting is really hard. When you wait, you have an opportunity to learn about yourself and to grow as a woman and a child of God. While you're in the midst of waiting, I can guarantee you that you're going to have days where every single thing you come in contact with will be cause for you to dissolve in tears. You'll have days where you'll snap at me and Dad even though you don't mean to. You'll have days where it feels like you can't wait one more minute, but let me promise you that you have what it takes within you to keep going. You are stronger on the inside than you can even begin to imagine because you have God's power within you. Cling to him and he will get you through the roughest of days.

You really are in control of your emotions. When you wake up in the morning, you can chose to set the tone for the day. You can let every single negative thing that happens to you put you in a bad mood or you can brush it off and choose to look for joy in each day. You will be amazed at how the smallest things will bring you great joy.

No is really a word that is acceptable to use. Don't be afraid to use it. I have learned that many times when I said yes to others, I have said no to me. My prayer for you is that you don't lose out on opportunities because you said no to yourself. After Jesus, you come before everyone else.

You may wonder why I'm writing you these tidbits of advice. My hope is that you'll take this wisdom and use it as a shortcut in your own life. Let it help you from going down the same path that I have. You'll make plenty of your own mistakes, and so I share with you some of the ones that I have made so that you don't have to make the same ones too.

Yours Forever,

Thursday, March 06, 2014

A Lenten Journey

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of Lent. I grew up as an extremely traditional Lutheran and have always observed Ash Wednesday and Lent. I look forward to Ash Wednesday each year.

With the Lenten season beginning, it is customary to fast by giving something up. While I appreciate those who do this and in previous years have given up things such as Girl Scout cookies, soda, candy, etc. I don't feel that doing so is really going to bring me anywhere closer to the Lord. So I choose to do something different, hoping to focus rather on growing in my prayer time and come closer to the Lord.

This year I'm focusing on intentionally praying for one specific person in my life every single day during Lent. As I was thinking about this practice for Lent, I was reminded of the James verse above and how the Lord is faithful to fulfill His promises to those who genuinely seek Him. I've been journaling my prayers as the Lord speaks to me through my prayer time and trust that as I keep being faithful to Him and come to Him with an honest and sincere heart during this time set aside for fasting and interceding that He will begin to restore and bring about change with the person that I am praying for.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


You are everywhere.

You are the guy that walked into the living room one late summer evening and changed everything.
You are the one I knew was the one.
You are the one who knows how to make me laugh like no other.
You are in the email my Dad sent to us yesterday and the one from your Grandmother this morning.
You are in the text to your Dad this afternoon.
You are in the eyes of the little girl that I see in my dreams that I know is our daughter.
You are hundreds of shared inside jokes.
You are the answer to lots of prayers and the reason for tons more.
You are in hundreds of memories and photographs.
You are the one that makes my face light up when you enter the room.
You are the one I always want to sit next to, especially at church.
You are shared beliefs and values.
You are in the tons of mutual friends we have that always ask how you are.
You are tons of songs on my iPhone that are to hard to listen to.
You are the reminder from yesterday's sermon that made me cry this morning.

You are the space I desperately know that I need right now, but is simultaneously so painful.
You are the one that is unknowingly making me work on forgiveness right now.
You are the one that I will always fight for.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

My Amen Girl

My Dear Amen Girl,

I want you to know just how much I love you. How I've loved you since before you were born. How Jesus loves you and has been giving me glimpses of you way before you were born. How the Holy Spirit has placed you in my dreams for a very long time.

Let me tell you about two of those dreams.

Your Daddy really likes the piano. He's really good at it too. One particular dream you were sitting alongside your Daddy at a piano. Neither of you knew that I was watching you from behind. Your Dad was playing piano for you and showing you how to play piano and the two of you were doing lots of giggling. My heart was full and happy watching you two.

The second dream I had you were a tiny baby, about six months old, dressed in a grey and purple striped onesie. You and I were at church sitting with your Oma and you were in a baby carrier. Your Grandpa was preaching and the entire time you were babbling on as little babies do. Your Oma and I kept hearing you babble one word over and over, "Amen" and we kept laughing. After a bit, your Grandpa picked you up, smiled at you and kept on preaching while you were babbling in agreement with what he had to say.

How did you come to get the name, "Amen Girl"? When I told my dear friend Lori about this dream, she said, ""You can pray for the little "amen girl" now." This was long before you were born, long before your Daddy and I were married. All this time, you have been my "Amen Girl". All this time, I have prayed for you, my sweet girl.

I pray you grow to love Jesus as your Dad and I do. That you trust Him and know that He speaks to you and that you will put Him first in your life all of your days.

Yours forever,

Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Birthday Dad

[Photo taken July 2013, Burnsville, Minnesota]
Today is the birthday of one of my most favorite people, my Dad.
He may not have the same DNA that I do and he may not have raised me, 
but he is and will always be my Dad.

Dearest Dad,

Today we get to celebrate you and all the things we love about you.
You are always teaching and showing me new things.
You (and Mom) are my biggest cheerleaders.
You always tell me the best stories.
You can fix anything, be it a broken item or a bad attitude.
You love a certain young man just as much as I do.
You listen to me go on and on about girly things that are the least bit important to you.
You are always praying for me and with me.
Your hard work, drive and determination helps me to do the same.
You are the best tour guide I know.
You show me unconditional love and grace.
You are always willing to learn new things and in doing so 
you remind me that embracing change is a good quality to embody.

There is no daughter who is more proud of her Dad than I am of you. Here's to 53+ more birthdays.

Happy Birthday!

Your Fave Daughter

Thursday, November 28, 2013

For this I am Grateful

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought." 
- Matthew 5:5 MSG

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever." - Psalm 118:1

"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough." 
- Mesister Eckhart

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

For this I am grateful.

For family, friends who are like family, and friends all over that make life rich.

For a relationship with the Creator and the promise of eternal life through the death of Jesus Christ.

For health and exercise.

For travel and the opportunity to explore new places.

For technology which allows me to work from home and stay connected to those I love.

For California with its incredible weather that allows me to spend as much time outside 
as I would like.

For my pets and their faithful companionship.

For the opportunity to be truly free as an American.

For knowledge and the continued opportunity to learn and grow.

For a church that I love.

For music that is the soundtrack to most of my days. It accompanies me while I work, exercise, relax, and go to sleep.

For hobbies that I love and am passionate about.  

Gratitude is a practice. Make it a priority.