Saturday, December 21, 2013


  This October I went to my first writing conference. It was such a wonderful time full of wonderful people, workshops, knowledge, and excitement for writing.

  I learned so much from the many workshops I was able to attend, but I think the best was the marketing workshop. I learned that you MUST have a target audience when marketing your book, or anything for that matter. The speaker used Coca-Cola as an example. They used to target their drink to "the new generation", but when they realized older people were buying it too, they switched their slogan to include their other buyers and sales dropped. This is just some of the amazing information I learned.

  My favorite part of the weekend, though, was being surrounded by people who had the same passion as I did: sharing the gospel through writing. Some of were into fiction and others non-fiction. Some were unpublished, a few were already successful writers. But no matter what our specific interest or level of expertise, we could talk to anyone about writing and encourage each other. I have always had a few friends who have shared my love for writing, but never have I been surrounded by so many Christians who want to glorify God through their writing. It is an experience I found at the Breathe Writing Conference that I never want to miss again.

  If you are interested in the Breathe Writing Conference in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area, check out their website!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


I remember twelve years ago
being seven years old
and watching the TV on a school day.

All I saw was grey:
the grey rubble, the grey smoke
and the fear was grey.
I remember realizing
there were people
trapped underneath the grey.
Buried far below,
with all of their colors
disappearing forever.
Some see hell
as a red,
flaming fire.
 see it as
And Heaven
with Jesus Christ
as a shining rainbow.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


   Time stop. Time speed. Whisk by me so I can be back. Freeze forever so I can't say goodbye. Don't make me say goodbye. Don't stop me from going back.

   The summer is gone, and with it my time with my family. I am now fully entered into the world of college. A world with two homes and two families that can never connect. I can never be in Vermont and Michigan at the same time.

   I dream of a bridge between them. I dream of wings so I could easily fly the distance. I imagine God scooping up my school and all the people I love and putting it all in Vermont.

   God has not given me a bridge or a pair of wings, and will never place my part of Michigan in Vermont. What He has given me is many people to love. And most of all He has given me Himself- a savior who has promised me an eternal home in Heaven where I will never leave His presence.

   Though I am still dreading the goodbye, I have hope in my eternal home.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

What I Didn't Know About College: Scholarships

Every small amount of money helps.

Tuition at the school I wanted to go to was about $30,000 a year. To me that sounded like the national debt. I figured if God was going to provide the money for me to go, it would be like a flash of lightning where some random millionaire liked my face and decided to pay for all of my education. If that was the case, the random $100 scholarships I was supposed to be applying for would be pointless.
But I am learning that usually God works through small miracles. After financial aid, a state grant, loans, and a few scholarships from the school, I think it ended up being $8,000 a year divided into smaller payments per month. Suddenly the $100 scholarship seemed worthwhile. It was all the little things, all the small miracles from God, that allowed me to go to school.

Scholarships aren't just for incoming freshman.

My freshman year ended, and we began again on the endless cycle of wondering where the money for next year's tuition would come from. I never thought about applying for scholarships again. When my mom suggested that I look for scholarships and writing contests, I searched online and found a ton I could still enter.

You can ask your college to help you find scholarships.

Maybe it was because I was home schooled and I never had a guidance councilor to help me find scholarships, but for whatever reason, I never thought about asking my college for help. We asked them if they could give me more scholarships since we were struggling financially, and though they said no, they offered to help me find scholarships next year. I have it written down in my planner to see someone in the financial aid office on December 2. Maybe this is another one of God's small miracles.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Right Focus

“Let’s go on this ride!”

I look up at the yellow swings flinging through the air and people’s legs dangling high above the pavement.

“There is no way I’m getting in one of those,” I say.

            Hannah scans the fair grounds. “How about that one?” She points to people sitting in apples that slowly rotate while going around a circle. Though the only ride I have ever felt comfortable with is the merry-go-round, I look at her face and can think of no excuse.

            Hannah, my little sister, and I climb into a red apple and we begin to move. It’s not very fast and I feel myself relaxing. Suddenly, Hannah yanks the metal wheel in front of us and our apple is spinning.

            “Wait, that’s too fast!” I yell, but she keeps turning it. We are whipped around at a speed I never knew existed and I’m getting sick.

            I’m almost ready to scream for Hannah to stop, when I remember my little sister. She sits next to me terrified, clinging to my arm.

            “It’s okay,” I tell her. “We’ll be out of here soon.” I’m still trying to calm her down when the ride ends, and I’m amazed that I forgot to be scared.

            I have always remembered that day as when I realized that when I am fearful I am focused on myself instead of focused on my savior, Jesus, who died for me and took my sins on the cross. If God loved me enough to sacrifice His perfect son to pay for my sins, shouldn’t I be able to trust Him?

            When I’m not focused on myself, I can focus on what my savior has done for me, and I can show that love to others by proclaiming what He has done for me and helping people, like I discovered with my sister.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Beautiful Reminder

What a beautiful reminder of my purpose in life.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Kamikaze Karl: A Story

Once upon a time there was a cardinal. He lived on a college campus, and was known as Kamikaze Karl. For you see every spring morning without fail he would greet the new day with a beautiful song and a crash against the windows by the tree. He would rise with the sun and begin attacking a window, though the darkness was still trapped inside the closed curtain and there were sure to be sleeping girls inside. But Kamikaze Karl did not care about the disturbance he was causing nor the growing feelings that girls had for him.

Some girls loved his sweet melodies and thought of him as their friend. Others constantly fantasized his death, imagining all the horrible ways they could murder him. A few of them took great pleasure in shooting a nerf gun at him to try to scare him away. Pictures of owls were taped to the window, music with loud guitar solos was blasted from stereos, and girls waited by the window with text books in hand to thrust into the bird’s face when his beak hit the glass. A Justin Bieber cutout was even borrowed to try to scare Kamikaze Karl, but nothing would stop him.

Many wondered at Karl’s strange behavior. Those that had named him remembered him from years past, and the question remained; why was Karl still here banging against the windows every spring? They all had their hunches. Maybe Karl was trying to get in because he was lonely and wanted friends. Maybe his goal was for everyone to fail all of their classes by interrupting their sleep. Or maybe when he finally got through a window he would kill all of the girls- a red flash of death swooping in and killing the entire dorm. Other more practical girls insisted that the bird was simply mistaking his reflection in the window for another bird that must be attacked.

But what follows is the true story of Kamikaze Karl and why he crashes into windows every spring:

Young Karl loved the idea of settling down on a college campus. He enjoyed the excitement and activity during the day that reminded him of his city home, and his young bride loved the peaceful weekends and the friendly ducks by the pond that made her think of her childhood.

They built their nest in a little tree right next to a window where Karl knew three sweet freshman girls lived. They loved their baby birds even while they were still in their eggs. Karl became obsessed with protecting his eggs. He would sit in the tree a few feet away from the nest and peer intensely at the world surrounding him. When students walked by, he’d chirp a threatening song. He’d chase away even the friendliest birds that got too close to the tree. Karl was so paranoid he would attack his reflection in the window, thinking it was an evil bird that had come for his eggs.

The other birds laughed at his obsession and quickly gave him the name Kamikaze Karl, mocking him as his head pounded into the glass again and again. But Karl ignored them, thinking only of the safety of his family.

After what seemed like an eternity of listening to the other birds torment him, Karl’s baby birds hatched. He had kept them safe.

Now when birds and students call him Kamikaze Karl, he is flattered. It is a reminder of how he didn’t let anyone hurt his eggs. Every spring when it is time to build a nest his kamikaze side comes out, ready to sacrifice his life for his eggs.

If the girls on campus knew Karl’s story maybe they would understand him. Maybe the frightening owl pictures would disappear and the wild rumors would stop. But they will never know his story, and Kamikaze Karl will always be a secret hero.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Changes, Challenges, and Unwavering Faith

            Before I left for college some adults told me that college was the time for trying new things and discovering who I was. They were right in a way. Especially during my first month, I was surrounded by new people and was constantly flooded with their ideas that were new and different to me. I now lived in a new state with a new and different culture. Being on a college campus offered me many new activities to pursue and groups to join. And I suddenly had an independence I had never before known. No one was telling me to study or to get up in time for my morning class. I could have chosen not to go to church, and my parents living a thousand miles away couldn’t have done anything to stop me.

            In this sense, the adults I was talking to were right. College is a time for figuring out who I am and being willing to try new things. But in one way they were wrong. Starting college, I knew who I was. I was a believer with the ultimate goal of glorifying God in everything, a creative writing major with the desire to be an author that shares the gospel in every story, and a young woman that wants Christ to be the center of her life. This is still who I am after I have finished my first year. My faith has been challenged, but has not wavered.

            But there have been things I have discovered about myself and new things I have tried that have changed me a little. For the first time I realized how much I need my own space. Not only as an introvert do I need to find time to be alone, but I also need a physical place both inside and outside that I consider my own. In my dorm room, my bed was lofted, and underneath I had my desk, dresser, and shelves. My “cave”, as my roommates called it, was perfect for me as it was somewhat separate from the rest of the room and I felt like I was in my own space. I also loved to invite people in- to show them something on my laptop, or to sit and talk on my bed. Outside, I found a place on campus that no one thinks of and no one visits. It is a small empty field, and when it is warm it is my favorite place to read, study, write, or just lie in the grass to pray or think.

            One new experience and adventure I had to embark on was finding a church. My parents and pastor helped with the search for which I am extremely grateful. But it was up to me to find a way to get there Sunday morning and figure out if it was the right church for me to attend. Though it looked like a good fit from their website and from the conversation my pastor had with their family pastor, I still had to visit before making my decision. But God was kind and brought me to the right church; a young woman kindly agreed to pick me up every week, they preached the gospel every Sunday, and I liked the college group that met for Sunday School. There were still challenges I faced, though. It was scary to have a stranger give me a ride, and also humbling to ask for help. Being in church lifted my spirits while at the same time made me miss my family and church family at home. And though I liked my church, I couldn’t help but compare it to my church home. But I have learned to acknowledge the good and bad aspects of both of my churches- to notice the things they do well and what they need to work on, but to accept the churches for what they are.

            Another adventure was singing with my roommates in a talent show. I have always loved to sing, but have been terrified of singing on stage for an audience. I was so scared, but we performed well, and more importantly I created a beautiful memory I will always have with me. I also took a step in overcoming a fear, so much so that I hope my roommates and I can sing again someday.
            My first year was full of good changes, challenges, and little discoveries about myself. Yet the most important part of me didn’t change; my faith will always stay the same.

Monday, May 20, 2013

God is Good

        My first year of college passed by so quickly. A year ago I was finishing up my senior year of High School and praising God for somehow giving my family enough money for me to go to college. It feels like I went to bed one day and when I woke up I was back home and my freshman year was over-  all of my college memories like the crazy dreams I sometimes have.

        But it is true. My freshman year of college is over, and as I sit here typing all I can think of is how amazing God is still and will forever be.

        God was good and faithful and by my side when I said goodbye to my family until Christmas break. God was good that first night when I hated my roommates. He was good when I realized how amazing my roommates truly were. He had His arms around me when one of my friends was thinking of transferring. She was becoming like a sister to me, and a piece of me would have gone with her. Though I thought I had no one to hold on to, God never let go of me. He was good when a good friend did transfer. He was good and faithful when I traveled with fellow students I didn’t know and stayed with old friends I hadn’t seen in ten years to get home and back. When my second semester got crazy with the extra credits I had to take, God was good, though I thought I was drowning. He was good through all my exams, a hard class, and a professor who thought I was too young for her class. He was good through roommate conflicts. Every time I longed to hug my dad, talk to my mom face to face, or quote movie lines with my sister, God was with me and was good in spite of the thousand miles that separated me from my family.
      The sun could fail and God would be good. He could have not provided enough money for me to go to college and He would be good. My friend could have left and His goodness wouldn’t have ended. My family could all die, and though it would be hard to say, God would still be good. He is good because He is God. He owes us nothing. The fact that He created us is amazing to me. But not only did He create us, He loved us. He loved us so much that even though we sin He doesn’t destroy us- even though He has that right. Instead He sent His only perfect son to die in our place.
      When I am tempted to get mad at God because of a situation in my life or hardships I am going through, I must remember that God is good. He is more than good. He is goodness itself. He has given me eternal life despite the wretch that I am. How could any trial in this life matter?

Sunday, March 24, 2013


        To surrender everything to God means saying, “Let Your will be done.” It means trusting that in every situation He knows best. For me, it means giving up all of my hopes, dreams, and fears to Him in prayer- telling Him these things, then bowing before Him and letting Him take them. It is hard not knowing if He will give them back to me. It will be even harder to say, “It is well with my soul,” if God never lets them happen. Although, I am realizing how silly it must look to God that I take these ideas and hopes, make them mine, and then slowly give it back to Him, because it was always His to begin with.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sea Glass

   One of my favorite places is an empty beach, with the orange sky above me and the wind blowing my hair. I love to walk across the sand and search for sea glass.

   A long time ago, my mom told me how sea glass is made. It begins when people leave their empty glass bottles on the beach. The waves crash into the glass on the beach over and over again, beating it against the rocks and tossing the sand against it until the glass is smooth and the sharp edges are soft.

   Sometimes as I search the beach, I find a piece of sea glass that is still sharp. I catch myself trying to think of a new way to describe it, but it is either glass or sea glass; there is no in-between. It's the same with people. There are many different people I see at the beach. Though we are different, we can be separated into two groups: believers and unbelievers, and nothing in- between. None of us can go to God on our own because of our sin. God is so perfect and holy He cannot stand our sin. "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23) and that is why He sent Jesus, His only Son, to die in our place. Jesus is perfect. He never sinned, not in Heaven or on earth. He was the only one who was innocent and could take the blame for us, and He died on the cross as punishment for our sins.

   But Jesus did not stay dead. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 says, "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures." He defeated death and rose from the grave. Jesus Christ is the only one who can walk across the ocean that seperates us from God, and through Him we can have a relationship with God the Father.

   To come to Jesus we must be broken, like the glass bottle on the beach. We must cry out to Him. Only then, in humility, will we be able to ask His forgiveness for our sins. Romans 10:9 says, "but if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."

   When I find a piece of sea glass that is incomplete, I want to keep it and put it in my porcelain box, especially if it is a beautiful green. But in the glossy glass not yet smooth, I can see myself: imperfect and blemished. I set the glass back in the sand, closer to the rocks. I must wait for the time when I cannot see my reflection in the glass before I can take it home. I must wait for the time when people can see Jesus' reflection in me and not my own before I can go to my heavenly home. God still needs to beat my sharp edges against the rocks many more times.