Friday, August 15, 2014

Why I Believe in Courtship

There’s an article popping up all over my Facebook newsfeed entitled “Why Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed” and I simply cannot let this one go without saying something.

If I’m being honest, this article really upset me. The author took courtship out of context and attached his opinion to it without any proof. Though he may say that “more courtships end in divorce” and phrases such as this, there are no statistics or facts to back this up. Be careful my friends, of articles that come on strong, with big words and judgmental stances yet do not have proof or a balanced view. I also caution young people to carefully think over the author’s advice at the end of the article where he asks you to talk to your parents about “why you want to date” instead of court – yes, talk with your parents about your thoughts and feelings, but be careful not to manipulate or dishonor your parents.

I’m not here to tell you that I only believe in courtship. I don’t. I’m not here to tell you that if you liked that article you’re wrong. I’m here to tell you from my experience and from my study as a daughter of Jesus how courtship has changed my life and my view of romance.

For years, I longed to love. I didn’t ever have a boyfriend or go on dates, and I had long determined in my heart that I would save dating for a time when I was mature enough to handle it, and for a time when I found a man that I would be willing to work on developing a relationship with over time. I was not interested in the “date a bunch of people until you know what you want” theory, as I just saw it as a chance to have my heart broken time after time. I do not believe that dating a bunch of people helps people to make up their minds about “what they want”. After all, isn’t it about what God wants for us? Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” This was sort of a go-to verse for me, and reminded me to constantly keep my heart aligned with God’s will and not get over-zealous about the things that are not life-giving. For me, I find that being focused on Jesus and what he is asking of me is the only way for me to guard my heart from all the distractions that this world has to offer.

Relationships require work. I don’t know anyone in this world who would disagree with that! Love is a beautiful sort of work that requires effort, attention, and 150% dedication. How can one apply this to a relationship when they only go on one date with a person before moving on to the next? I do understand that sometimes one date is all it is going to require before you know that you will never go out with that person again, and I don’t disagree with that. However, intentionally looking for many people to date seems to defy God’s purpose for marriage. Our God is a very intentional God – His plan is perfect and He knows our end and our beginning. From Creation, God created one woman for Adam, He did not give him a handful to choose from. God knew who Adam was to have, and He gave her to him. I want to be able to put all of my effort and all my might into a focused goal, and I believe that one relationship is all you need to be able to learn how to love and cherish and learn God’s plan for marriage.

I met a man two years ago who asked to pursue a courtship with me. I said yes. For years, I had determined in my heart that God had a courtship in store for me. I didn’t really know what that looked like, I didn’t know anybody who had yet gone through one, yet I believed strongly that God was asking me to wait on him. I waited on his timing, and he brought me a beautiful love story. No, it doesn’t always work this way. There is no perfect formula for dating/courtship/marriage, and you must listen to God when he asks you to obey. Our courtship is beautiful, and we are constantly seeking advice and wisdom from those around us who have been through the hills and valleys that come with relationships, and we are earnestly seeking God’s will for a marriage between us. Our courtship is beautiful, and it is God-driven. There is intentionality that focuses our relationship and keeps us yoked together, pulling in the same direction. Having a purpose for your relationship is critical: God does not ask us to make many plans in our heart, but to listen to His purpose (Proverbs 19:21).

I truly feel that having many casual relationships is dangerous. Chasing after a “good time” and doing what’s “normal” and “having fun” are not the focus of God’s plan for us. Does God create fun and joy? Of course, but to say that having fun is more important than a serious relationship as this article says is not Biblical. I believe that the belief that dating is only for fun comes from our world’s humanistic view of how to have a good time. One does not need to be on a date to have joy, and having fun is not a critical part of life.

God does not ask us to try out ten different gods before we choose him, why would we say it’s the same with dating? If God has set a plan in motion, why not seek out that plan rather than trying ten others first? Obedience to God is the most important factor, and if He is asking you to wait on Him, I believe that is much better in the long run, and you should not chase after all the things under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:14). Relationships that die in a day are meaningless, and don’t encourage long-lasting relationships.

God calls us to be stewards, and I view myself as a steward of the heart and purity that God gave me. I believe that I am to guard my heart and not give pieces of it away with relationships. By being intentional with relationships, the pieces of my heart are not given away to the wrong people, and my purity is guarded. I am a steward of the love God has placed in me, and I am to save it and give it wisely to a man I can love until death.

While my boyfriend and I have been courting, we have come across people who do not understand us at all. Honestly, that’s fine. We don’t care! We love to tell our story and help people see what makes our relationship special and how we have done things differently. However, along with that come some misconceptions.

1. We don’t date. – This is just simply not true. Even though we call this a courtship, we go on dates, sometimes in a group, sometimes just the two of us. We get to know each other through these interactions and have had great talks. Dating is important to get to know each other, and I am not at all opposed to dinner every week together!

2. It’s always awkward. – This is one of the funniest comments I had from someone: “Isn’t it always awkward to try to be moving toward marriage?” Uh, no. Having marriage be the purpose of our relationship opens up many conversations. We are able to talk about what we want out of marriage and what we believe God is leading to, because that has been our intention from the start. No awkward “I wonder if he likes me, maybe he’ll propose someday” thoughts, but an ability to talk about anything and it’s completely normal! Yes, it was awkward at first to talk about marriage and the future, but now it’s a daily subject!

3. Purity Rules are Obsessive. – This one’s not entirely true. We do have “rules” we have set for ourselves regarding purity because we believe that it is important to God. We vigilantly guard our purity, but we do not obsess about it and make it the only focus of our relationship. It is vital to maintain this purity, but it doesn't have to be done in a way that is all-consuming. We don’t have them written out or set in stone, but we know what is expected of each other and how we should interact. We are careful in our touch, and we listen to the people we love and trust when they have a suggestion. This doesn’t mean we are legalists and anti-affection, but that we are careful to remain pure and holy in God’s sight.

4. It’s going to end in marriage. – Courtship does not always end in marriage just as dating does not always end in marriage. It’s different for everyone, but courtship allows both parties to be able to talk about whether the relationship is going in a direction or staying stagnant. My boyfriend and I made a commitment at the beginning that if it was not going to lead to marriage, we would end the relationship to protect our hearts from becoming any more entangled and emotionally connected. This allowed us to be honest about our feelings, and to protect our hearts from becoming involved in something that would never lead anywhere.

5. It’s always intense. – Simply not true. Yes, we have purpose. Yes, we have a direction. Is that a bad thing? We still have a lot of days that are spent just laughing and enjoying each other’s company. It’s not all marriage-talk all the time, and it’s not all serious all the time. We have learned how to just be ourselves and take each day’s challenges in our stride and work through them together as best we can. We are learning how to take the serious bits of life and find the God-given joy throughout.

6. It’s always hard. – No, courtship is not always hard. Relationships are hard work, but I never view them as a trial. Relationships are a blessing, and a way for God to work in us and teach us compassion for others. Life can be hard, therefore relationships are hard, but if you look at the blessings and joy that come from them, they balance out every difficult thing we go through.

7. Parents control the relationship. – My parents and my boyfriend’s parents are heavily involved in the relationship, because we asked them to be. They do not control us, but they give us wisdom when we ask, advice when we need it, and direction when we are lost. Our parents are wise and God-fearing, and we trust them to help steer us in the way we should go, because they have raised us this far, and we love them. “Honor your father and mother, for this is right…”
This courtship has been the most amazing experience of my life, and I truly believe that this was God’s will for my life. A relationship with direction is assuring and leads to loyalty and trust, while many short relationships can lead to doubt and confusion. I am not here to tell you that courtship is the only way – I ask only that you will read this and find a new perspective.

I have been in a courtship for two years, and I don’t believe anyone would tell me that I should have dated a bunch of people instead.

“Let no one look down on you because you are young, but sent an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

Monday, January 7, 2013

Because He is Faithful

It’s late. Far too late. Why I’m writing this in the middle of the night is beyond me. Perhaps it is because I keep wavering between fear and excitement and I need to get my emotions down on paper.

Tomorrow is the day I have been waiting for: I finally get to submit my application
to nursing school!

I’m trying so desperately not to give in to the fear that threatens to overwhelm me.
I’ve learned throughout this last semester that trusting and obeying what God is telling me to do is absolutely the best way to relinquish my fears. I have been a witness to God’s faithfulness for so long, and I have especially seen it throughout this last semester.

My friends, God is SO good. I have been utterly blessed throughout this whole college experience, though at times it seemed so dark and scary. I have grown to be able to trust in what God is doing and how he can work through me in circumstances that seem hopeless. I’m not going to give into the fear that I so often succumb to. I’m choosing tonight to give this completely over to God: there is nothing more I can do but wait, trust, and continue to serve my Lord.

I received the following verses as blessings from my family and friends for my birthday, and they fit so well with this situation. Is it not incredible how you can read a verse a hundred times and yet one day it becomes even more meaningful?

“Cast your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you…” (1 Peter 5:7)

Lord, I have seen your faithfulness and the way you constantly watch over me. I have been delivered out of so many terrifying situations, and it is so evident that you care about everything that happens to me.

“Turn my heart toward your statues and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word…” (Psalm 119:36-37)

Lord, I want only to do your will. I believe that nursing is the passion that you have placed in my heart, but ultimately I desire only to serve you. If nursing is not my path, then I trust you. If it is, then I trust you. Preserve my life, Lord, and direct me with your word.

“Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing…” (2 Timothy 2:21)

I am your vessel, Lord, and I will go where you send me. Let my ultimate desire be to serve you.

“Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart, I will glorify your name forever…” (Psalm 86:11)

No matter what happens, Lord, I will serve you. With undivided attention, I will follow you.

“The Lord within her is righteous; He does no wrong. Morning by morning he dispenses his justice and every new day He does not fail…” (Zephaniah 3:5)

You have been faithful before, you will be faithful again. I know you do not fail, Lord Jesus, and I trust myself in your hands.

“We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life…” (Titus 2:12)

I praise you, Lord, for the life you have given me. Let my life be what You desire and let it honor you forever.

“The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. And his shield bearer went before him…” (1 Samuel 17:7)

Lord, I do not need an army to protect me as Goliath required. I need only You to go before me and guide my steps.

“May the God of hope fill you will al joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit…” (Romans 15:13)

I have a hope and a peace, Lord! You will go before me and lead me onward. I have such a deep trust in the fact that your will is being done.

I trust you, Lord, and leave this in your hands. Thank you for your faithfulness and your incredible blessings.

May it be so!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

On the Brink of the Future

Time flies by.

Tomorrow I begin my official college journey. To say I’m afraid barely scratches the surface! However, I know I can rest in the knowledge that this is where God is leading me and that nursing is a piece of the story God is writing for me.

My mom and I went and walked around campus to find my classes last week, and it hit me that this is my new reality: walking around a campus with thousands of people I don’t know, taking classes that will stretch and challenge my intellect, and spending hours and hours away from home.

While I am learning to look forward to many aspects of college (mostly the education part of it), it scares me to think that I’m going to be around so many people who don’t love Jesus. However, isn’t this a great opportunity to reach out to people and show them what the love of Jesus can really do?

I’m not an extrovert by any means, though I have come a long way since early high school. Meeting people is not my strong suit, but I have learned to love hearing other people’s stories. I’m purposing now to be friendly and make the effort to meet people so that maybe I can one day tell them about Jesus. I have such an enormous opportunity to make a difference, and aren’t I the one who said I want to change the world? Well, if I can change even one person’s world, it will have been worth it.

Lately, I have been clinging to this verse:

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing,” James 1:2-3.

I know I will be facing many trials at college. There is a huge temptation to become stressed and overwhelmed. Exams are time-consuming and difficult. The nursing program is extremely competitive.

Yet, I am to count it all joy. God is asking me to tackle these trials with HIS help, and not rely on my own ability. If I don’t understand this concept, how will I be successful at college? When preparing for an exam, I am to count it as JOY. When a person attacks my personal beliefs, it is JOY. I’m not sure anyone can fully understand this concept, but I’m going to do my very best to live it.

I have to purpose now to tackle college with courage and joy with Jesus right by my side. If I jump into college life without taking God’s hand, I will simply be drowning in my own weakness.

So, dear readers, you are my witnesses:

I, Molly Michele promise to courageously walk into college with the purpose of reaching the lost, learning all that I can, and preparing for the future. I will maintain a positive attitude, count all trials as joy, and hold tightly to Jesus so that I do not wander from His path. I will allow this journey to refine me, making me what God sees as beautiful. I will allow myself to see God’s hand in my life, ever molding and shaping my character.

As I step out my front door tomorrow, I will not look back. Though I desire to stay home with my family, this is my new reality. I will not remain in the past, always discontent. I will walk forward with courage and purpose, joy flowing through me. College is an opportunity, an investment in my education, a tool of refining.

I’m on the brink of my future, and I will step forward in faith, holding tightly to my Jesus.

“Begin the day joyously, and let no shade of doubt come between you and the eternal sunshine…” – Charles Spurgeon.

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Time of Preparation

This last week and a half has contained some of the best days of my life! I graduated, and was able to spend a great amount of time with family that I haven’t seen for awhile. It still hasn’t really sunk in yet that I’m graduated and moving on to college. In some ways, I don’t want to, and yet I’m ready all at the same time. Confusing much?

This last week was spent with my sweet cousin Johanna, who I could not live without. Her wisdom and love for God always inspire me, and she and I had many long, deep conversations – some even lasting until three in the morning! I was so blessed by her and her wisdom, that it inspired me to write this post.

Many of our conversations this week focused on marriage and what we are looking for in the man we would one day want to marry. This question is often at the forefront of my thoughts, even though I know I’m still so young yet. However, if I’m not preparing to one day be a wife, how can I possibly be ready when that day does arrive?

If you have read my blog for very long, you know that I’ve gone through long periods of confusion over whether I should go to college and pursue my dream of nursing. Well, I have finally decided that yes, God is calling me to go to the University of Northern Colorado, live at home, and earn my nursing degree through a lot of faith and perseverance. In many ways, I am very excited! I love to take care of people, and it is a profession that fits my personality exactly. At the same time, though, I’m facing a lot of fears and apprehension over this whole “college idea”.

And then it hit me. One day out of the blue, I finally realized why going to college has never been exciting for me. I was beginning to think that there was something wrong with me – why didn’t I get excited when I talked about college like so many of my friends did?

I finally realized that nursing is not what I desire most out of life. Truthfully, if God called me to another place or asked me to give up this dream, I would have very few regrets. I do love the idea of nursing, but it is not my deepest desire. Nursing is not what I dream about in my spare time, nor is it even at the top of my mind.

First and foremost, I desire to be a wife and mother. To me, there seems to be no greater gift or calling on my life that I could desire any more. Since I was very little, I always knew I wanted to be a mom – this was evidenced in my frequent playing of “bride” in my white dress and in the fact that I carried a doll everywhere. Many girls my age want to achieve their dreams and careers first before even considering the fact, but not me. I sometimes wonder how long God will ask me to wait before bringing a man of courage and character into my life. How long will it be until my deepest dreams will be fulfilled?

And yet here I am, making college plans and wondering what the future holds. Strangely, I’m more at peace than I think I have ever been. I’m feeling so blessed at this moment in everything that God has brought me through that I know deep down that, in this time of waiting, I’m called to go to school and to become the nurse that Jesus wants me to be. Sometimes I don’t understand and I question God’s judgment. And yet every time, I come to find that it is my lack of faith that causes these thoughts to cross my mind. I’m so grateful that God is revealing His plan to me, no matter how resistant I have been.

Yes, I desire to be married and have children (in fact, I want a very large family), but God is calling me to a time of trusting Him. I have no idea how long it will last, perhaps a year, perhaps thirty, but I know that the perfect man will come into my life at the exact moment that God has planned for me.

In the meantime, I have been going through several books that are teaching me to pray for my future husband and that are allowing me to dream, but to not try to run ahead of God. The pressure in our world today to have a relationship is huge – but I know that God is calling me to withstand that temptation until a man that I know I could marry comes into my life. This is a time of preparing, a time of waiting, a time of trusting that God is in control and that I am called to do His will in the meantime.

I want to know that on the day I walk down the aisle in a white dress staring into the eyes of a man I love, I have done everything God has asked of me in the meantime. So, as I head off to college and start my journey into adulthood, I plan on preparing myself to be a wife and mother as well as a nurse. I am not going to sit and waste time until my deepest dreams of being a wife are answered – I am going to stay busy in the meantime doing God’s work, allowing Him to work through me in whatever way He chooses. This is a great leap of faith for me, and yet I’m also releasing my fears to Him, and He is granting me security and a sense of peace as I tackle a new adventure.

Young women, remember always that God loves you with His whole heart – He will always be there for you, no matter how long your time of preparation and waiting is. Turn to Him and He will be the guidance that you need. “Friends who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved?” (Song of Songs 8:5a). Let God be your beloved first, leaning on Him first, allowing Him to work through you first. Don’t jump ahead of God’s plan! In time, His whole plan will be revealed, and you will find that in the times of waiting, there was a specific purpose.

This is who I want to be: someone who is always preparing, always waiting on God, and always trusting that His will is what I am seeking. I want to be the woman who sought God through all her confusion only to find that He had written a beautiful love story for her that was revealed at just the right time.

“LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.” Isaiah 25:1

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I've Been Here Before

If you have followed my blog for very long, or have known me for awhile, you may remember that last spring was a very difficult semester for me. Between a teacher that attacked me for my beliefs, being afraid of nursing school and its challenges, and never wanting to grow up, I had chosen to let all the pressures get to me and make me depressed and angry for a good portion of 2011. Well, after I realized my mistakes and was sweetly broken by my Savior, I made a promise to myself in my journal that I would never let myself get to that point of desperation, exhaustion, and anger again.

I would like to say that I’ve been 100% successful – but I haven’t.

These last months have been hard, and I’ve wanted to give up and forget nursing altogether. Once more, I’ve told myself that I can never be worth anything, and that I shouldn’t bother because it is just too hard.

I’ve been here before.

I’m at a point where all I can see is the bad in everything. I might have a good day at school, but all I can focus on is the one subject that I simply don’t like. I might have a good day at work, but I let myself remain angry at a person for some small reason. I might look outside and see the beautiful sunshine, and all I can think about is how much homework I have.

I’ve been here before.

When everything turns into a complaint or a source of anger, they why do I bother getting up in the morning? It would be better for me to keep to myself than to be horrible and burdensome to my family and friends. If I don’t allow myself to hope and see the future, then why should I go to college, become a nurse, work hard?

I’m telling you today, that without hope, life is extremely painful.

I haven’t let myself be happy in a very long time. I complain as I get up, I complain as I go to sleep. I haven’t allowed myself to except the joys, no matter how small, that God gives me each and every day. I don’t want to be an unhappy, angry, grudge-holding person – I don’t! And yet, this is exactly what I have become.

And I hate it.

I hate my attitude, I hate my actions, I hate the words that flow so easily from my mouth.

So I should just give up, right? I should realize that no matter what, I’m not perfect, and I should move on to something else.

I may have been here before, but I’m going to turn this around and change myself. I’m not going to give up, no matter how hard my life is right now.

Being a senior is so weird sometimes – it feels like you’re on the edge of a cliff almost ready to be pushed off, but you can’t quite leave and you can’t quite stay. It’s an in-between, it’s a transition. And it is so, so hard. Some days, I just want to move on to college, and other days I just want to be a little girl. No matter what, though, I’m going to tackle whatever it is that God has in store for me.

If I was to be completely open and honest, I would tell you that I do not like school. (Please understand that this does not include homeschooling – I only dread going to my community college classes.) I love to learn, but I do not like feeling like I am wasting my time on silly pre-requisites that have absolutely nothing to do with nursing. God has called me to be a nurse, and in my heart, I know it is what I want to do. I know I will love it, and yet I can’t seem to wrap my mind around the fact that I may have to take ridiculous classes that frustrate me to no end in order to get to the point where I can serve people in a hospital setting or on the mission field. In my mind, the excuse is always, “Why would God make me suffer through all the horrible things at college for FOUR YEARS? How could God possibly want me to do this?”

And yet I know. It’s for a bigger purpose. Did Jesus want to die on the cross? No. But did He obey because He trusted His Father? Yes. I want to be like that. I want to have that kind of faith. I can’t bear to keep going at this steady, downhill pattern that always ends up with tears and pain.

I’ve been here before.

But I’m not going to stay here.

Tonight, Lord, I give myself over to you once more. As the tears flow, I know God that you are here. Maybe I’ve lost my way for awhile. Maybe I’ve been forgetting to turn to you with my problems. I know I’ve been a complaining, grumpy jerk for the last months.

And I don’t want to be this way anymore.

You created me – and this person that is so unhappy? That is not me, Lord. That is only Satan trying to persuade me that I’m worthless, that I’m nothing, that I’m hopeless.

You’re picking me up, God, and I can feel you reassuring me. It’s so hard, Lord. So hard. I don’t like growing up, and I don’t always know why I have to do the things I have to do. But I want to listen to you always. I want you to be my hope and my future.

Take me where you will, Jesus. I lay myself once more at your feet, tears streaming down my face.

I have two more months of high school. Two more months until another journey begins.

I want to end it with joy, not pain and anger. I want to end it by bringing glory to your name.

I’m not worthless. I’m not a quitter. I’m here, Lord, come near to me. Be my guiding light and give me the wisdom to always turn back to you when I’ve lost my way.

I don’t like school, God, but that’s okay. I’ll survive as long as you are there. I want to be a nurse, God, I know I do! I’ve just lost my way and can’t remember the passion I used to have for helping people.

Break me, Father. I need you. Bring back to me the gentle and quiet spirit that I have so long tried to achieve.

Tonight, I promise to find the joys of life again.

Tonight, I promise to smile genuinely and to realize the many blessings I have been given. Oh, I am so selfish! How could I ever forget what God has done for me?

I’ve been here before.

But this time, I’m going to change.

Joy. Peace. Patience.

And most of all, resting in the arms of my Beloved Savior.

“Know also that wisdom is like honey for you:
If you find it, there is a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.” Proverbs 24:14

““Yet if you devote your heart to him
and stretch out your hands to him,
if you put away the sin that is in your hand
and allow no evil to dwell in your tent,
then, free of fault, you will lift up your face;
you will stand firm and without fear.
You will surely forget your trouble,
recalling it only as waters gone by.
Life will be brighter than noonday,
and darkness will become like morning.
You will be secure, because there is hope;
you will look about you and take your rest in safety.
You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid,
and many will court your favor.” Job 11:13-19

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Tomorrow is my birthday, and I will be 18. Truthfully, it doesn’t seem real yet! But, as I sit here in my last night of being a minor, I’ve been reflecting on what that number really means.

You see, I have been told in the past few weeks by several people that I’m turning the “magic” 18. The first time someone told me that, I didn’t get it (I’m usually a little slow in getting jokes…). Finally, I figured out that everyone calls it “magic” because you are finally an adult.

Well, I have news for you. “Adult” does not always equal “mature”.

No, really!

Just because I will legally be an adult and I can vote does not mean that overnight I will be responsible and “all grown up”. Overnight, I am not going to hit a phase where I never have to listen to my parents again.

Even if tomorrow I wake up and think about how I’m legally an adult, not much is going to change. I will still be living at home, I will still have a job, I will still play with my siblings. Though the world tells me that, at 18 I can be responsible for my own choices, I have been raised with thought that I have ALWAYS been accountable for my actions. Yes, I may be ready to take on some extra responsibility, but I can’t become prideful and begin thinking that I know everything.

Pride is something I have always struggled with, mostly because I absolutely hate to be wrong. I have often disagreed in a not-so-nice way with my parents and they more often than not, they are right and I am wrong. However, I want to purpose this year to accept the wise counsel of my parents, not turn away from it. So many people that I know reject their parents as soon as they are old enough to leave home. But, I have always found sound advice from my parents, and I don’t want to turn away from them now. When I start college, I know I will need them, as I can become very overwhelmed and stressed. So, while I live at home, I will remember that this is NOT my house. I must be respectful and obedient to my parents all of my days, but especially while I live under their roof. I’m very excited to be growing up (well, I am most of the time, anyway) and I always want to value their generosity and take nothing for granted.

One day, when I marry and move out, I want to remember my time of living at home and learn from the experiences that I had there. My family is wonderful, and I want to pattern my own after them some day. So, Mom and Dad, 18 is just a birthday. It’s a milestone, yes, but I want to always be faithful and kind to you, Noah, Lexi, and Jesus.

Just because tomorrow is a special day, doesn’t mean anything will change. I will always love you and do my best to respect you. I will always value your opinion (even if it takes me a while to come around) and I will always try to submit to your wisdom.

Tomorrow is my birthday, but not much will change. I will still love my Lord, and devote myself to His will. What a wonderful year of life this has been… Although it has been filled with trials, I have learned more than I could ever have imagined. I thank the Lord for his faithfulness and everlasting love.

18 is just a number, and yet it is the beginning of the rest of my life.

“Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live!” Isaiah 38:16

“ All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.” 1 Peter 1:3-4

Wednesday, November 30, 2011



Home is where your family always cares and always loves.

Home is where your dog will run to the door to greet you even though you have only been gone for a few minutes.

Home is where you can find rest and comfort in your family and your friends.

Home is where your church will take care of you in a time of need.

Home is where people care enough to say, “How are you today?”

Home is where your friends write you spontaneously just to tell you they care.

Home is where you make new friends and keep the old.

Home is encouraging and comforting.

Home is where you belong.

Home is where your mother will hold you after a hard day.

Home is where your brother will tell you that you are beautiful, even if you only have on jeans and a sweatshirt.

Home is where friends ask you to go ice skating, even though you don’t really belong with their group.

Home is where your sister holds you while you cry over the trials of life.

Home is where your father congratulates you on a scholarship to the college of your choice.

Home is where you can dance at any time in any place.

Home is where you can curl up with a cup of tea and your Bible and seek God’s wisdom.

Home is forever.

Home is unconditional.

This is not my home.

My home is in heaven.

At home, I will not have tears.

At home, I won’t have to take medication for my uncontrollable pain.

At home, I won’t need my Bible…I can get it straight from the mouth of my Savior.

At home, I will have countless friends who love and care for me, but most of all worship the same Savior as I do.

At home, I will have my church around me; my church will worship at the feet of Jesus.

At home, I can dance for my Lord with sweet abandon, and not worry about what others think.

At home, I will be made a new creation, and won’t need to be told I’m beautiful.

At home, I will have a host of angels cheering me through the Gates of Heaven and showing me my name in the Book of Life.

At home, there is eternal peace and love.

At home, I am safe and secure.

At home, I can bow at the feet of my Jesus and praise his name forever.

This is home.

“But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:16