Sunday, February 22, 2009

He chose me....

Last Sunday I sang with Mark and Jon for our morning worship service. I love singing and I love worshipping so it is something I love doing. I still though, get fairly nervous, especially when they have me sing by myself. This past Sunday in my nervousness my voice got a little shaking and I felt as though I was losing all focus and I was reminded of a beautiful thing: God doesn't need me. He can accomplish everything without me. YET, he chooses to use me even though I mess up on a regular basis. As I lost focus and struggled to sing my part I looked out over our congregation and saw that people were still fully engaged with their God. I took a deep breath and remembered that it isn't about me and that God will do what he wants to do whether I mess up or not. Which seems often that I am mess up. But what an honor that he CHOOSES to use me. He doesn't NEED me yet he chose me. Sometimes I am so humbled by that thought.

He chose to use me that Sunday morning to help lead his people in worship and thankfully when I waivered he stayed strong. Our God is Strong forever.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I promised I would keep everyone updated on my running. It holds me very accountable :) This week wasn't as successful mostly due to business and cold cold weather. I went running for 3.42 miles on Monday 3.7 on Tuesday. Both good runs. I even got to teach Mark some Pilates after the second run. I also began running 4 min and walking 2. But other than that I have only gotten i nPilates for the rest of the week. I don't know if anyone noticed but it is incredibly cold out. Don't we all love Michigan weather?

This week Mark and I have had a lot of chances to give to people. It has been so much fun! It is so fulfilling to be able to give to people. Every time we have felt very led by God on what and how much to give and it is silly because he provided perfectly every time for us to be able to give. God is so cool.

We have been focusing a lot of God and just falling in love with him. In the end its all that matters. Our relationship with Jesus is all that will matter when we are at throne of God worshipping someday. Everyting else in life is a by product of our relationship with him.

Take some time today, to just talk to the one who loves you so much and knows every last thing about you.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Before I start this blog I just have to say that I have the best husband in the world and he means everything to me and I too have been so thankful these past few weeks. It is true that we have seen how special our relationship is. It is definitely a treasure that we both want to protect with all we have. I love you Marko :)

So what this blog is about: RUNNING!

I have decided that this year I want to run the Grand Rapids 5th/3rd Riverbank run on May 9th. I have wanted to run races forever and EVERY year I say I am going to and I never do and EVERY year I am disappointed. So I will start with the 5k (3.2ish miles I think) and hopefully get the chance to run several this year and eventually work up to a 10 k. For my birthday I got a little chip for my shoe that syncs with my ipod and as I am running she tells me how far, how fast, and how many calories burned. And then I can log all my runs online, set goals and it keeps track of all of it for me! It is so much fun. I have read up on training for runs and they all said the same thing: start with run/walk. So I run 3 min and walk 2 and next week I will go to run 4 walk 2. I also do a quick run each week where I do no walking and run as far as I can. I did 1 mile this week so I know I am improving. I have a goal to run 40 miles in 4 weeks for training. I am at 6.8 today so tomorrow I will do 3.2 (my long runs have been right around 3mi). Since last Saturday I have run 9.62 miles and I am super proud of myself! It has been fun to set goals and actually do them!

I am also doing pilates three times a week which has helped a lot with flexibily and strength in my lower back which has been a problem in the past. And then I weight lift twice a week. Don't want to forget my arms! It has been so fun to actually enjoy this and have goals to meet and schedule to follow. I love it! So I will keep you all updated on my progress. It is accountability of sorts ;-)

Running for me has always been a big challenge. This week I have thought about the challenge on the mind and on the body. Towards the end of my runs everything is exhausted, my mind and my body but yet I love pushing myself when I think I can't handle anymore. It always amazes me how much more I have in me, how much farther I really can go. And I am just reminded about how true this is in life as well. When things are hard and we are tired and hurting and feel as though we can't go another step....if we push we can. If we rely on God we can and i think we will always be amazed at how many more steps we really have in us. Instead of looking at how much farther is ahead just focus on this step now, and then the next when it comes. God carries us all the way. So running has become a reminder of the strength we have in God and to always press on, press on, press on!

I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus - Philippians 3:14

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Best Friend in the World

As you know, it's been an emotional couple of months for us recently. In December, we knew without a doubt that we needed to "set sail," but now - two months later - we still don't know our destination. It's always unnerving being at sea (if you'll allow me to continue the analogy), but ESPECIALLY when you aren't sure what direction you're heading. But, for me at least, the seasons that are lacking for positives tend to really help remind me of the few things that ARE great in my life.

This particular season has me especially thankful for two things, but I'll focus on ONE in this blog: Jenny.

The Michigan job market's effect on our ability to earn has two direct effects on me: less time working, and more time with Jen & I stuck at home. And as much as the financial part stinks, it's really been great overall. Don't get me wrong - we're both anxious to get out of this slump. But, being the optimist I am, hard times force me to focus on what is good, and my Jenny is VERY good :-)

I've taken the time to notice things about her that I've never noticed before. I've been more intentional about building our friendship. I even bought her flowers and watched a chick flick with her (sorta...). And above all, I've realized that she is a treasure that I never deserved and don't EVER want to be away from (that little fling with the Army helped me realize that one).

So I'm sorry to all of you who are puking now because of all the romantic mush in the air, but you read our blog because you want to know what's going on in our lives, so I thought I'd give you perhaps a closer look than normal. Love you all!

-Mark- +

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


So since the day I moved into an apartment that was mine, a home that I needed to take care of, I have battled one thing: I don't really care for cleaning and I am by nature and habit a very messy little girl. I amaze myself sometimes at how fast I can make a mess. I will have been home for 5 min and there will already be "stuff" spread out all over in every single room. I honestly have no idea how I do it and no matter how hard I try I always forget that I should pick up mess as I go.

My husband is incredibly patient with me on this as I continuously promise "I'm trying, I will get better!". So the battle is that I always feel like everything is a mess and I always feel as though I need to clean. There are always things to be picked up, often dishes, laundry, vacuuming, dusting, toilet cleaning and floor scrubbing to be done. I feel like it is a never ending job. By the time I get it all done it is time to start doing it all again. And don't get me wrong, Mark helps A LOT but at the same time he is not the walking tornado in this house nor is he the one that can't relax until everything is clean (I know it is ironic and doesn't make any sense that I am messy AND can't handle mess). So anyways now that I have rambled completely off the path I will get back on it...

I struggle daily to not let the stress of the work to be done effect the rest of my life. It can be crippling sometimes and because I feel like there is so much to do I can't do any of it because it seems so overwhelming. And trust me I know this is slightly ridiculous but no worries I have already consulted the professionals about this "disorder" I have when it comes to the dreaded cleaning!

As I have battled this weird cycle of events I have found one passage in the bible very inspirational.

Proverbs 31. You should read it if you are a female because it brings light into what God is calling us too. You may have to be creative and bring some things into our culture (not many of us make our own clothes anymore :) ). But there is lots to learn. Like a wife of noble character's lamp never goes out at night and she does not eat the bread of idleness. What this tells me is that God knew it wouldn't be easy work taking care of a home and a family. This motivates me when I feel like I can't take anymore. It reminds me that I'm not just a wimp and that there will always be work to do. And that I have no excuse to just ignore it day after day.

I also like that she opens her hands to the needy and extends her arms to the poor. It reminds me that I should give and care for people beyond my family and having people into my home is a great way to do that. Another reason why it is important to take care of the home God has given us. And the last thing I will mention that I really like is that beyond the work she does her love for God is most important and what makes her "A wife of noble character".

"Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised". We can work our whole lives to keep our homes clean and our families fed yet our fear and love for our God is ultimately what matters and will bring the most fulfillment.

So whenever I feel discouraged I will turn to this verse and every time I am encouraged and able to press on, press on, press on.

You get a pat of the back if you read this whole thing ;)

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I know we have not been doing a very good job at updating our blog lately and maybe everyone has given up on us and no one reads it anymore...anyone out there?

Life has been a little strange for us lately. Things just now are starting to feel more normal, maybe. With the transition of leaving Journey not only came leaving one church family and going to the other but also we had the transition of Mark working mostly the hours he chose and being very flexible to now also have a set hours and days he has to work. It took me a little while to get used to it. I have learned to really appreciate it. Even though jobs situations are far from what we would choose them to be there is a lot to be grateful for.

*Mark can go to work and come home and be done with work, something that never quite felt like it happened before. There was always something to be done.
*We now have almost every evening to spend together.
*We both have jobs that allow us to pay ALL of our bills AND buy groceries AND gas (we weren't sure that we would be able to do that in this economy)
*We have great health insurace!
*We saved up enough money to get our engine completly rebuilt, which means we will have almost a brand new engine in the Honda!
*God has been with us every step of the way even though at times I thought for sure he had left us.

I could keep going with all of things I am thankful for right now. But those are the big ones. We are still seeking God with everything we have, trying to figure out what we need to be doing right now. What career path should Mark explore, should one or both us go back to school? Should we leave Michigan? And the biggest question is what does God want us doing? I feel as though we have learned so much in the last few months even though it has been hard and discouraging. And I am thankful that we are only 22 and 23 and have lots of time to figure things out. We are just focusing on God, seeking him and knowing him and we pray that he will take care of the rest. We know one thing for sure about our lives and that is that we want to honor him in all that we do and we want to live a lifestyle of ministry. I know that no matter what we end up doing that this will become true in our lives.

God takes care of those he loves and we cling to that and press on.
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