29 Things I Miss About Living In China

I was fortunate to spend the 2012-2013 school year teaching in China. It was an incredible experience. If you happen to spend any in-person time with me, you’ve probably heard me say, “In China…” or “Chinese people…” I tend to talk about China all the time. I’m okay with that, though, because that time abroad grew my faith in incredible ways. Since being back, there are quite a few things I miss dearly.

1) My Students – They are wonderful. I love how sweet Chinese students can be. They smile and enjoy saying, “Hello, teacher.”

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2) Sweet Friends – I’m so thankful for the amazing people I was able to befriend. I learned a lot about how to give freely and show love to those in my life. They were such a great example to me.

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A Very Merry (Sick) Christmas

AngelAs Christmas has come and gone, I’ve reflected on the true meaning of Christmas. It’s heartbreaking to know that families could celebrate each year and never stop to appreciate the wonderful, perfect gift God gave to His creation (Romans 6:23). The meaning of Christmas is much more than just a story of a birth in a manger. What God did through Jesus for all of humanity is beautiful. It’s a true depiction of love.

Leading up to Christmas, I had a whole lot of fun. From celebrating with one side of the family and then some friends to taking a quick road trip, I had a blast. When I got home from Christmas Eve service I was not feeling too great. That’s when I knew I was on the verge of getting sick. And, sick I sure got…

I was sick for days.

At first, I was frustrated and wanted to get better as quickly as possible. I was praying I’d be well enough to make the trek to Kansas City for IHOP’s annual Onething conference. That was the original plan, but God had something else in mind. Read more

God is Always Good

I know God is good. I really do. But, sometimes I think I forget, maybe even for just a moment. Then something happens and I’m brought back to this place of awe. I am so in awe of God’s goodness. Wow!

A few minutes ago it hit me. Even though I believe God is always working in people’s lives, I’m blown away when I hear that someone I never expected to follow Him opens the Bible and puts their trust in His hands. As my fingers hit the keys of my laptop, my eyes are beginning to water. I can’t even coherently put into words the way I’m feeling. It’s as if I didn’t realize the eternal significance of each individual life, but now I understand. God’s given me a little piece of wisdom to see how he feels every time one more of his lost sheep comes to Him.

I am thankful.

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Thoughts Wrap Up

You know what I love about blogging?

It’s being able to pour out my heart and be real about things I care about… what a great feeling! There’s something therapeutic about sharing what God’s teaching me. Life is full of obstacles, but I choose to see those moments as opportunities to learn and grow.

Lately, I’ve had a lot on my mind. From life decisions to ideas about the future, my mind has been all over the place. I sometimes find it hard to turn off. (Which is why I tend to talk a lot, as those who know in me in real life can attest to!) I’ve decided to start doing these “Thoughts Wrap Up” posts every once in awhile with blog posts I like, music that’s inspired me, etc. as a way to get out what’s on my heart.

Hope you enjoy the first one!

Reading [Book-wise]

  • You Were Born for This by Bruce Wilkinson – I really enjoyed this book. In it, Wilkinson writes practically about how you can partner with God in His miracle-making. You know those nudges you may have about stopping to help someone or a strange desire to say or do something but don’t actually do it? Some of those could be God working to show you what He wants to do through you. By being open to God’s leading, we can experience miracles in our everyday lives.

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We All Need a Little Rest

We Need RestWhen did it become cool to see how little sleep we can rely on while still maintaining the appearance of having it all together?

Why do some people need to make a point to emphasize how little they rest? (As if that somehow makes them better than the person who makes resting a priority!)

The last post on this blog was about being busy. We (primarily Americans) pride ourselves with the ability to juggle far too many commitments. We somehow are deceived into believing what we “accomplish” in a day’s work is some indication of our self-worth. That’s a lie. Whether or not you seem productive to other people has no bearing on your value. You as a human being are adequate. You are loved. You are desired. That’s what matters.

Rest and busyness are two subjects that go hand-in-hand. If you are too busy, you lack the time for rest. If you actually have time to rest, you must not be busy enough, so you’d better step it up! (Or at least that’s what society tries to tell us!)