Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Something that made me think...

Jesus is coming back.
Are you ready to meet Him?
You will. It could happen today.
Make Him your Savior, not your Judge.
#TellTheWorld     - Clayton Jennings

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Going On

Painting pottery with my sister and a friend. I put my favorite Bible verse on mine (Isaiah 40:31)

I haven't really ever posted a lot about my personal life, but I've had a couple of recent posts about it now. Not sure what to think. Do you like seeing what I'm doing? Or should I just stick to poetry type things? 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Hoary Heads

The trees stand silently
Their hoary heads held high

Friday, December 25, 2015

Blessings through Raindrops

This is the last post on this topic, but honestly, this series wouldn't be complete without posting this song... I hope you really think about these words, they are so, so good and true.

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can't satisfy?

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?

Merry Christmas

An interruption from the regularly scheduled program to say...

I hope you're all having an amazing holiday season! 

And while I'm at it, here's a glimpse into our celebration. 

I got some new markers, which I've been experimenting with...

doodle art... lol

our tiny Christmas tree...

my grandma has cool old ornaments

a ginormous poinsettia in our living room

my brother carving the ham with my grandma and sister's supervision

everyone except for my dad (he was setting up a tripod for a different camera)

I also got a selfie stick haha. My brother was having more fun with it than me though ;)

This is the reason I wanted the selfie stick ;) 

Cool food pictures for my food blog ( 

(our Christmas feast)

from our family to yours...

Merry Christmas! 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Backwards Logic




Life isn't always all that it seems. Sometimes there are hard spots. Things we have to endure. Hatred, pain, fire, trials and tribulations. But as much as we don't want to endure them, they are very necessary for our spiritual well being. 

My dad sent me this note last week: "God changes caterpillars into butterflies, sand into pearls, coal into diamonds. I have enjoyed watching how He is changing you!" 

I read this note AFTER I had started this series, so as you can imagine, that really got my attention. 

Life isn't always easy, but maybe we should be glad. So many beautiful things come about from things that we would classify as negative or painful or challenging. But like the saying goes "A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor." 

It is through these challenging moments and days that we learn our place, and have the most opportunity to grow. If it weren't for challenges, we'd end up thinking that we are good enough, and we can do it on our own! But God never intended us to do it on our own. He wants to help us, and give us His infinite strength. But we have to allow Him. We have to ask Him. And if we never come to the realization that we are indeed weak and frail, and not enough on our own, maybe we would never ask Him or allow Him to help us. And how sad of a life would that be. 

God made this world an interesting place. Things aren't always as they seem. Sometimes we have to use "backwards" logic in God's kingdom. The poor and weak are the greatest in His kingdom. We have to hate our life in order to keep it. In other words, sometimes we have to give up things that seem really big here on earth, in order to get even better things in the life to come. 

I think we (as humans) can be very childish sometimes (at least I know I am). It's so hard for a child to see the big picture. They only see this moment - or that candy sitting on the counter that they want now. It's hard for them to comprehend that if they wait to eat it until after lunch, they might enjoy it more. 

We're so much the same way. We think we need the best house and the most money. We think we need to look like we have it all together. We think we would be happiest in a life devoid of pain and suffering. But would we really? It may seem like suffering to that child to wait to have their candy, but if they could eat all the candy they wanted whenever they wanted, would it really be better for them? 

This is part of an ongoing series I will be continuing throughout the week. Stay posted, lovelies.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Hate before Love

Verily, verily, I say unto you, 
Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, 
it abideth alone: 
but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.   

He that loveth his life shall lose it; 
and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.   
[John 12:24-25]

Oh child, why can't you understand My sayings?
Why won't you obey My commandments? 
They may not make sense to you now, 
But you have to learn to trust Me.
Have I ever failed you? 
I give strength to the tiny seed, 
And I will give strength to you. 
But you must rely on Me. 
You'll never do it on your own strength
Just as the vase did not create her own design.
You were not created to live a life of your own pleasure
Just as the seed shed his perfect complexion for a much grander purpose.

This is part of an ongoing series I will be continuing throughout the week. Stay posted, lovelies.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Despised before Accepted

Shame and despair.
He could feel their judgmental glances
As they passed him by each day.
He wrapped his cocoon closer
As if to shield himself from their disgust.
He felt so helpless, so small.
Wishing he could crawl around
And eat to his heart's desire, as he had in times past.

Then one day, his cocoon began to disintegrate
As he stood frozen in fear
He realized that people's stares had changed -
From disdain to wonder.
No one would notice his shaking fear,
But they would watch awe-struck as he soared to new heights.

This is part of an ongoing series I will be continuing throughout the week. Stay posted, lovelies.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Fire before Strength

They found the perfect home.
It had a beautiful view, overlooking a valley.
Everyday was a mountain top experience
What could go wrong?
They were self-sufficient
And had all the things they could ever want.
They could make it on their own, without any help.

One night, the fires came.
Their earthly goods were destroyed
In a moment, reduced to nothing but ash.
As they knelt in the rubble,
Alone and with nothing left,
They cried out for help.
No one would see how self-sufficient they were,
But they would be amazed at what God helped them endure.

This is part of an ongoing series I will be continuing throughout the week. Stay posted, lovelies.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Pain before Beauty

Life was an ocean of bliss.
Everything was smooth sailing,
Her food was served on a silver platter,
And she had plenty of money to spare.
She could buy her happiness
As well as beauty and friends.
Until the doctors were stumped by her symptoms.
All the money in the world could not save her now.

She writhed away in pain,
No one could understand what she was feeling.
As she prayed in desperation, in full reliance on God,
He touched her life,
And changed what once was bitter
Into a beautiful piece of art.
No one would look at her in awe of her fame and power,
But they would give glory to God for the beauty that was her life.

This is part of an ongoing series I will be continuing throughout the week. Stay posted, lovelies.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Death before Life

The life of the party.
That's what he'd always be.
Hanging out with friends all day long
Not a care in the world.
His complexion was fair and everyone liked him.
After all, he was in complete control, right?

All light faded away.
Where was everyone?
Why was he suddenly all alone?
He felt the dirt pressing in around him.
And just as he was giving up, his leaves broke through the soil
And the glorious sunshine pored down on him.
No one would notice his fair complexion, but they would all marvel at the strong oak that he became.

This is part of an ongoing series I will be continuing throughout the week. Stay posted, lovelies.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Broken before Great

Broken and worthless
Shards of clay scattered across the room.
The consequences of hot water in a cool pot
Just moments before so beautiful
Intricate patterns perfectly aligned.
That proud little pot failed to realize
Where those designs had come from.
Surely a pot so beautiful could accomplish much
With little need for help from less perfect pots.

Small and frail
The pieces lay broken by nothing more than a little water.
All hope was lost
Until the loving Creator reached down
And glued the pieces back together again.
This time, with the help of the Potter,
The little pot would accomplish much.
No one would notice how beautifully perfect the pot was,
But they would all marvel at what she could survive.

This is part of a series that I'm going to be continuing over the next week. Stay tuned, lovelies  <3

Thursday, December 17, 2015


So I kind of redid my design. It's been long overdue...

What do you think?

I'll probably continue tweaking it, but I think it's much better than my old one.

Ironically, I've never been much of a yellow fan. In fact, it might be my least favorite color. But I like it here. Maybe it's because this is more of a golden yellow. (Sorry, I'll quit analyzing myself now)

Anyway, I also have a new button (see my sidebar) - for those of you amazing peoples that have my button on your lovely blogs.

Which if you do, please tell me and I'll be more than happy to return the favor ;)

That's all for now. Goodnight (:


My mom sent me some snapchats of my doggie, Eugene. 

I miss him so much, but I couldn't take him to Iowa with me, so my family takes care of him.

 I recently sent him a few gifts... he liked some of them better than others. lol

Like this toy deer that squeaks.

Silly dog. 

He's already tore most of the stuffing out. 

He loves his toys half to death, I dare say. 

However, he didn't like these antlers that I sent him quite as much. 

How ungrateful. He's so cute in them though. 

Look at those eyes - "Why are you doing this to me, mother?"

We call him Eu-genius sometimes. He's very smart.

I call him Eugeney-bean. Because he's so adorable. 

Seriously. I love my puppy. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Beauty Wins

(Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a good picture of an orange rose?!)

Tonight I was scrolling through Facebook
Reading posts that my friends had shared
Thinking of conversations past
When I began to realize a very stark difference.

Some posts were beautiful, making my heart and soul joyful
While others were dark and sad and bleak
Well you say, some people have just experienced more hardship
But I beg to differ.
Some of the most beautiful thoughts I've seen
Have come from hearts that have experienced indescribable pain.
Yet they look to God and praise Him through it all;
Yet others, seem to want to cast blame and point fingers
For offenses that seem so small in comparison.

But God doesn't compare;
He loves us all, no matter our past.
He cares about our hurts and He doesn't want us to bear them alone.
All we have to do is cast our worries upon Him,
And He will protect us and comfort us like a mother hen does her chicks.

What is more beautiful than that, my friend?
An omnipotent God who cares about me.
A loving Father waiting to remove all my cares
Just waiting to give me indescribable peace in the midst of the storm.
If only I would turn to Him, instead of pointing my fingers in condescension.
How can I dwell on the bad that has happened to me, when there is so much good?

Oh Father, make me more like the simple rose.
Who turns her face toward the rain
Knowing that her almighty Creator
Is standing there, just out of sight
Commanding the storms to bring her life-giving water.

Friday, November 27, 2015

In the Midst

Memories // flashing through my mind
and it still doesn't seem real
that you aren't here, my dear. 
But God is here // in this moment
He's teaching me things
that I never would have understood before.
I see beauty // where I've never seen it
the wind blowing through the trees
breaking the silence of the afternoon
spreading peace and whispering God's love.
the tears // they still fall down my cheeks
but this hope grows inside my heart
because one day I'll join you // in that perfect place
and I can't imagine how beautiful it must be
when I look around at the beauty He's placed here
and when I think about your smile already there.

Oh God, I marvel at Your mercy
at how You could make something beautiful
out of something so dark.
At how You give us so much hope
in the midst of such overwhelming sadness. 
I long for Your love // even as I feel its embrace
and I need You, now // not more than I ever have before
but perhaps I am just becoming more aware of it.

So let me fully rely on You, Lord,
and trust Your perfect vision to guide me
// in the paths that I should go.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Current Obsession 2

I found myself dreaming
In silver and gold
Like a scene from a movie
That every broken heart knows 

we were walking on moonlight
And you pulled me close
Split second and you disappeared 
and then I was all alone

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


I wish I could take this shield away,
     but you're going to have to cut through it. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


This is going to be an honest post.
I always try to be honest, but the point is -
sometimes it's easier to share the best things and leave out the rest.
But life isn't always perfect.
Sometimes it's hard and sometimes it's messy.

I honestly don't think I've ever felt so alone in my life.
I don't think I've ever spent so many sleepless nights crying and reading my Bible.
I love my job so much, but I miss my friends, my family, and my church.
But if there's anything I've learned, it's that God is always faithful.
He draws near to them that draw near to Him.
Even when I feel totally ugly and unlovable - He still loves me.
Even when no one else cares about what is going on - He does.
I've felt His presence more than ever lately...
And I've been clinging to His promises.

I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Heb 13:5)
All things work together for good to them that love God. (Rom 8:28)
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:28)
Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you are mine. (Isa 43:1)
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. (Psa 32:8)
I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. (2 Cor 6:18)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Importance of Mentoring

There's something that's been on my heart and mind lately... Mentors. All throughout school - in my undergrad and grad school, mentors were very common.

I had 2 different mentors when I was a freshman at Purdue, who were older seniors that had successfully navigated the college environment. They gave me tremendous help in adjusting and knowing what I was supposed to do at the right time. When I was a senior, I helped mentor some freshmen as well.

Last year in my graduate school, the college again set up a mentor program and I was paired with a woman who had been a successful dietitian for many years. Not only did she give me invaluable advice, but she encouraged me to keep going and pursue my dreams, even when I was feeling a little discouraged and overwhelmed. She'd been where I was, and she understood what I was going through. But the biggest thing was that she had made it through, and that helped me to keep going.

The Bible talks a lot about mentors. Titus 2:3-5 is perhaps my favorite Scripture on this topic.

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

God values mentoring. It can be such an encouragement and help, in an area that perhaps a lot of younger women are struggling. I mean, honestly, navigating college was nothing compared to navigating my spiritual well-being and Christianity, and yet, I've never once had a spiritual mentor.

Why don't you ask someone, you say? Maybe I'm too scared, maybe I don't know who to ask. Maybe it seems like a lot of the older women are distant - involved in their own worries and I don't want to bother them to help a struggling young girl overcome her own problems.

But I can tell you, I've prayed so hard that God would provide a mentor. Someone with wisdom, who has successfully navigated their spiritual walk to this point. Someone that can model how I should act and what I should do.

Some people might say that's what your mother is for. And maybe in a sense, she is. But I think there should be more than that. Titus 2 doesn't say "The mothers likewise....that they teach their daughters to be sober..." I also think it's somewhat akin to the reason that colleges don't make your professors your mentor. The professor has their own role. Yes, they need to teach you, but they are not your mentor.

So here it is: a challenge to myself and to anyone else who may happen to read this. Who can you reach out to and mentor in your life? It may seem scary to reach out and offer to be a mentor. Maybe you don't feel like you have it all together enough, but I think there is probably always someone that we can reach out to and encourage. Someone who is in the same place we were a few years back, and we made it through....

Will you be a teacher of good things?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

This Moment

The sun streaming in through the slats of my window.
Trees dressed in their evening gowns of splendor,
           gracefully whispering praises to their Maker.
The glistening soil, quietly resting after a long and fruitful year.
The feeling of overflowing in my heart, after all that He's blessed me with.

Feeling so lonely and alone that He becomes my everything.
Wondering what heaven will be like, and missing those that have already went.
Desperately trying to find my purpose in life,
            because it feels like I've lived so long and accomplished so little.
Missing just hanging out with friends, and not having to worry about small talk and impressions.
Wishing I could quit hating myself so much, and feeling like such a constant failure.

So grateful for His love, that it makes me cry.
How could He love a wretch like me?
How can He love me,
           when I desperately deserve to be hated?

You're the only hope that I'm clinging to,
And I hope You know, that I can't live without You...

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Less Like Me

she cries in the dark
and wonders hopelessly
why can't i just be
a little less like me?

a little less quiet
a little less awkward
a little more likable
a little more fun

is that really too much to ask?

can't i have more friends, God?
i'm tired of being the loner
i'm tired of feeling like a failure
tired of beating myself up
tired of it all...

don't give up, He whispers
I'm here by your side
you're my broken vessel
but I am the Potter
     who can put all the pieces back together.
and I love you, my precious daughter,
and I love you more than you know.

I see your heart
I know your struggles
they may think they do
but they see only your
     outward appearance
I made you this way
for a reason
     so trust me a little more, my daughter,
because I promise I'll never fail you.

          //    but they that wait upon the Lord 
          shall renew their strength; 
          they shall mount up 
          with wings as eagles; 
          they shall run, and not be weary; 
          and they shall walk, and not faint.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

In Memory of Brookie

Before I begin, I'll give you a warning... this is probably going to be the longest post I'll ever write. I thought about splitting it up into several posts, but decided against it. These last several days have been some of the hardest of my life to be honest. Yet, God was there, by our sides through it all. I've seen God work in mighty ways and provide strength that I never thought was possible. This post is going to be set up like a journal. I realize not everyone will want to read it all, but I have to write it. If you do read it, I hope you'll see for yourself that God is good, all the time. He is so, so good. 

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. -John 14:27

Our church's week long revival meetings were starting, and the air was full of excitement for what the week would hold. After potluck, we invited the youth over to our house to play some volleyball. Our church is fairly small and all of the youth are cousins. We grew up together, we had family get togethers, we went to church together, and the result is that we are almost as close as siblings. Almost all of the cousins are youth-age. There are a couple younger children though. Kedron and Brooklyn - two siblings that were born much after their other siblings, were less than a year apart, and were as close as two peas in a pod.

Every time we had volleyball, Kedron and Brooklyn would beg to go with us. We always let them come, and usually we only let them play one game - and the rest of the time they had to entertain themselves. This Sunday, Kaitlyn didn't have room to take Kedron and Brooklyn with her. My mom saw that they were both sad about it and invited them to ride with us. It was just my parents, Kedron, Brooklyn, and I as we rode home. We talked about getting pictures in a sunflower field that we passed and about a house that their family was thinking about moving to. At volleyball, we ended up letting Kedron and Brooklyn play every game. As we sat in lawn chairs resting, Brooklyn grabbed a bowl of party mix and took it around to everyone. We teased her that she was the "snack bearer" - a title that she gladly accepted. As we gathered for dinner before heading back to church, my dad asked Brooklyn to lead us in prayer with her favorite song:

God is great, and God is good. And we thank Him for our food. By His hands, we all are fed, give us Lord, our daily bread. Amen. 

In the car ride back, Kedron and Brooklyn figured out how to get the car headphones to work. Kedron wanted to listen to a football game on the radio, and Brooklyn would try to sneak her arm up to change the station to a Christian music station, looking over at me with her contagious smile and giggling as Kedron would catch her and try to change it back.

That night as we sat in church, she noticed another little girl sitting by herself a couple rows ahead of us. She quickly grabbed her things and ran up to that bench, sitting by the girl as if they'd been friends forever. That's the way Brooklyn was - never knew a stranger, always willing to help, giggling with happiness and joy.

Brooklyn serving the volleyball on Sunday 

We were pulling into the driveway after the second night of revival meetings. The service had went well - the message was good and the fellowship afterwards was even better. We stayed late talking, and I drove my parents home in the darkness of night. My mom's phone rang, and I could hear my aunt's distorted voice on the other end. She had been crying.

There was an accident.

Another aunt and her two daughters had been involved in a car accident. Brooklyn, the youngest, had been badly hurt and was going to be life lined. As I parked the car, I pulled out my phone to begin calling people. My brother's number came up first. Mom's phone rang again, and my aunt said we needed to get back to the scene of the accident. Brooklyn was having trouble breathing, and they might need my dad (an anesthesiologist) to help intubate her. As we dove back into the car, my brother answered.

I could hardly talk, but I managed to tell him that Brooklyn was badly hurt and asked him to call our sister. This time my dad was in the driver's seat with the flashers on. My mom and I hung on for dear life and prayed that we'd make the 25 minute drive safely as the car began smoking from being pushed to its max. But we can replace the car, and every second counts - we made it in under 10 minutes - and my dad was out of the car almost before it stopped, sprinting over to a group of ambulances.

By this point, I was shaking uncontrollably. The evening air was cool and I didn't have a jacket, but I think it was more because of the fear than anything. As my mom and I walked up to a group of sheriffs and EMTs, we overheard that Brooklyn was in the ambulance. A helicopter was waiting a few yards away. The first person I saw was my uncle, Brooklyn's father. He'd come upon the accident a few seconds after it happened. A large truck had blew a stop sign, t-boning my aunt's car and sending it spinning into a nearby field.

Neighbors had seen the flashing lights of the van spinning after being hit and had come to help. This is deep in Amish and Mennonite country and many of them were running around the scene helping out wherever they could. Another aunt and some of my cousins came over. I hugged my grandparents tight. We all had tears in our eyes. Sharla and Kaitlyn had already been taken to the hospital - neither one in serious condition.

Finally, the doors of the ambulance opened. I caught a glimpse of her - my 9 year old little cousin - just moments before so happy and full of life. There were large gashes on her face...I looked away, tears filling my eyes again as they hurried her to the helicopter. My cousins, grandparents, and mother formed a group hug and an Amish man came up and began praying the words that we couldn't manage to choke out. As he finished, the helicopter took off and more family gathered into the group hug.

My two uncles were there, and my dad. We went around the circle praying, ending with Brooklyn's 10 year old brother (and best friend)'s desperate prayer to help his sister. As we prepared to leave the scene and travel to various hospitals, there were no dry eyes. Yet, through God's grace and power, there was no longer the shaking fear that gripped us at first. There was a peace, that no one could explain or comprehend. It just was.

God's grace would sustain us, through whatever we had to face.

This picture was taken 2 weeks ago at another cousin's wedding. This is Brooklyn's family - her parents Mark and Sharla, brother Justin and his wife Michelle and their baby Ellie, brother Colten, sister Kaitlyn, and brother Kedron. 

11:30 pm
My parents and I took Kedron back to his house to gather some clothes. Kedron fed the dog, and sat for awhile with her in his arms, hugging and petting her. We finally left for the hospital where his mom and Kaitlyn were. As we arrived, the waiting room was filled with cousins, aunts, and even the visiting minister. Kaitlyn was already being discharged, and Sharla was waiting on results from x-rays and CAT scans. Kedron went back to see Kaitlyn and the life line team returned. Kedron and Kaitlyn were able to get pictures with the team and see the inside of the helicopter.

We were finally able to go back and see Sharla. She had a broken collar bone, and were waiting on more results. She was in a lot of pain, but seemed to be doing well - considering all she'd been through. We decided to go on home with Kedron to get some sleep while waiting to hear word about Brooklyn.

1:45 am
We stopped at McDonald's for a snack before heading home and my dad received a call. My uncle was on his way back to the hospital that Sharla and Kaitlyn were at, and Kedron needed to be there. We made a u-turn and headed back to the hospital. We sat in the parking lot waiting for my uncles to get back. We tried to talk about different things with Kedron, to keep his mind off it....

3:00 am
They finally got back, and we made our way to the chapel room, with heavy hearts - not wanting to hear what we already knew in our hearts. I sat down as the rest of the family made their way in... last of all Sharla, who had just been discharged. Things were a blur as Mark explained that Brooklyn hadn't made it...she'd passed away in surgery...and then as the sobs subsided, two phone calls to Brooklyn's oldest brothers who live out of state. And more gut-wrenching sobbing. It seemed like the tears would never stop, and surely this was all just a horrible, awful nightmare. Before we left that room, we prayed again. And we left the room with heavy hearts.

I woke up after four fitful hours of sleep, and began crying all over again. I got up and started helping my mom clean for guests that would probably stay at our house for the funeral. My brother and sister were on their way home from college. They arrived that afternoon and we headed over to Mark and Sharla's. Sharla told her story from the last night - she and Kaitlyn had been looking the other direction - at a beautiful blue light that they had never seen before. Just like that, the crash happened and their car was spinning out of control. After seeing the damage to Brooklyn's brain, the doctors thought she probably died at the scene - she didn't suffer. As we drove past the scene of the accident over the next few nights, there was no blue light....we don't know, but maybe it was an angel coming to take sweet Brooklyn to heaven.

The next few days were filled with sadness, yet some happiness began to emerge. Happy memories of Brooklyn's life. Memories of her dedication to prayer, of her cheerfully giving spirit. Memories of her contagious smile and giggle. Word was coming back to us of thousands of people praying, from many, many states. We thought of how happy she is in heaven right now. Memories of her first time to visit a beach earlier this summer, and how she bounced along the shore line exclaiming "This is so interesting to me, I've never been to a beach before - this is so interesting to me!" and imagining her doing the same in heaven.

We found hundreds of silly band bracelets that she'd made with Kedron and decided to pass them out at her viewing. We decided to wear her favorite color - pink.

Brooklyn's viewing started at 2:00 pm. Hundreds upon hundreds of people came. Family from other states, some of Brooklyn's best friends, and so many that had only met her once or not at all. People who were impacted in some way by her death. People that wanted to show their love and support to the family.

Throughout the afternoon and evening, Brooklyn's family held up incredibly well. It was almost as if they were the ones doing the comforting to those who came to support them. One of my friends posted this observation on Facebook, and I couldn't have worded it better.

The little girl who made this bracelet, along with many others had no idea she was making them for her family to give away at her funeral. As my family waited our turn to pay respects to this lovely family I observed. I observed a mother, father and siblings stand in this line comforting people. Hundreds, probably reaching thousands by the end of the day. With every hug and person that fell to pieces, this family remained strong, choking back their own tears to comfort droves of people all day long. Listening to sad music and watching pictures on a slide show of her full of life while her lifeless body lay next to them. The grief was unbearable. Yet Gods grace is sufficient and He perfectly provided for them during this time. I do not know how a person could get through this kind of grief if they don't have Jesus. Knowing where their hope lies. Keep this family uplifted in your prayers because hard days are yet to come. 

The day of Brooklyn's final earthly resting place had come. The church was filled to the brim with people, friends, and family. As we gave our final earthly goodbyes, a theme emerged victorious - we have hope. We will see Brooklyn again. Even as we speak, she's in heaven praising Jesus. Like King David's son with Bathsheba - she cannot return to us, but one day, we will go to her. She's happier now than she ever was on earth. Her smile is bigger, her giggle louder. And we have hope, because of Jesus. 

There are still hard days ahead. Especially for Brookie's family, as they attempt to return to "normal" life. As the people slowly leave, and the prayers begin to slow. Please continue to pray for them. <3

all of Brooklyn's cousins - wearing pink, her favorite color

Monday, September 21, 2015

Keep thy Heart

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Prov 4:23

Have you ever thought about the heart? Our literal, physical organ? How amazing that such a little thing can keep our entire body alive! If one little thing goes wrong in the heart - one small artery blocked, a tiny hole develops, etc - then everything else stops.

It's that way in our spiritual being as well. We have a "heart" that keeps our souls alive. And if we don't take care of it, we'll end up dying spiritually as well. Except a spiritual death is so much worse than a physical one.

Protect your heart, ladies (and fellows).
Because you only have one life, one chance.
You'll never make it on your own,
So ask God for His help.
He'll lead you every step of the way.

Friday, September 18, 2015


it's a late summer night, Love

I stare at the fire
                   before me
the flames dance and pull me
into their mesmerizing beauty
so invitingly warm
I reach toward the flickering light
breathing in the sweet smokiness

forgetting how it burns
forgetting how it blinds

it reminds me of you, Love

how I keep falling
even though you never notice
even though you never need me
forgetting how you burn me
forgetting how you blind me

you're so beautiful, Love

your eyes enchant me
                   with their glistening sunlight
your soul is sweet
and pure and kind
the light within you pulls out
                   the best in me

I wish you could see me, Love
I wish that for once I could be
the fire before you
                   because I would never burn you, Love
I would never, never burn you

Overflowing 1

So I think I'm going to start a "series" of sorts. Just writing little stories about things I'm thankful for. <3 Here's the first one!

Last year during my internship and master's program, SLU set up a mentoring program for the interns to connect with an established dietitian and get some advice from a person that wasn't a preceptor, professor, or otherwise giving us a grade at some point. lol

Anyway, this lovely lady was my mentor. We met several times and went to different dietetic meetings as well as had a few different ethnic meals at various new restaurants. I enjoyed getting to know her so much, and she gave me more than just professional advice.

She is a Quaker, and while they have a few differences from my church, they are very similar in many ways. She encouraged my faith and challenged me in so many ways. This was such a huge blessing to me, because the closest similar church was over an hour drive and even that church was Mennonite (which has several differences from Dunkard Brethren).

Today, I'm so grateful that she was my mentor this past year.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Long Story of Grace

Whisper it in the breeze. 
Shout it from the mountain tops. 
Write it on your heart. 
Hold it close and never forget it. 
Because our God saves. 
Our God works miracles. 
He cares about me and you, small and frail as we are. 
He will never forsake us. 
His mercies are new every morning, and His grace never fails. 

Let me tell you a story. 
It's a real story. 
A story I never want to forget. 
A story I will forever be grateful for. 
A story of God's guidance and grace. 

I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. Many things had interested me, but nothing had seemed "just right." Until one night when I happened to attend a community meeting where a dietitian was speaking. I was interested in the medical field. I was interested in education. I was interested in health and nutrition. I had always loved cooking. All the pieces fell together in that short hour, and before the night was over, I set up a meeting with the dietitian to talk about her job. I just happened to take the personality project in 4-H that year, and it just happened to be about discovering a future career. I decided to interview 3 people in different careers I was interested in - scrub tech (medical), high school teacher (education), and a dietitian (both). Both the scrub tech and the teacher strongly discouraged me from entering those fields. And guess what? The dietitian had nothing but good to say about her job. Everything she described was something that interested me. After those interviews, there was no doubt in my mind as to what I wanted to be. 

Fast forward a few years - I applied to 2 schools with dietetics programs. I didn't know much about either one. After a couple campus visits (one that went extremely well and one that went extremely poorly), numerous recommendations from friends (all saying to attend Purdue, and never Ball State), and a significant scholarship - the decision was made. I have to say that attending Purdue was exactly what I needed at that point in my life. I did so much growing - socially, emotionally, and even spiritually. I was incredibly blessed in the fact that I never had a negative experience with atheistic professors - in fact, I was surprised that several of my professors in the sciences even hinted at a higher power. The friends that I made were serious about their studies and I was never so much as asked to attend any questionable parties. This may have been partly due to the fact that I never lived on campus, and I went home to attend church almost every weekend. 

Time to apply to internships. Dietetic internships are extremely competitive and probably only a third of applicants get a match. I applied to 3 that really interested me, and at the last minute decided to apply to Saint Louis University based solely on the fact that it was a combined master's degree and internship in 1 year (most take at least 2 years). I got a phone interview, and learned so many amazing things, that I switched SLU from my last choice to my second choice. When match day came - I received a match to SLU. This was one of the most intense years of my life, but it was also honestly one of the best. God provided me with one of the best friendships I ever could have asked for, a safe place to live, and somehow I made it through the year without missing a single day due to illness or any other catastrophe. Somehow (I'm still not completely sure how) I was able to finish all the requirements on time - including my research which was very behind schedule to begin with. I know that my first choice of internship would not have been nearly as good as SLU was - I had 24 different rotations with 16 different preceptors in sites all across St Louis. SLU also has a very strong sustainability program where I learned so much about gardening, composting, and all that "green" stuff. 

About 5 or 6 years ago, when I first became interested in dietetics, my grandmother noticed that her grocery store had dietitians to help customers. I became fascinated with this, and my grandmother sent me every newspaper article, magazine clipping, and brochure that these dietitians created over the years. Every time I visit her, I have to go to her grocery store. It's an amazing store, with so much more variety and fun things than any of my grocery stores have. I've wanted to work there ever since. In early June, I saw a full time job posting at this grocery store for a dietitian. I applied that evening and the posting was taken down almost immediately. I waited 3 weeks and figured they had filled the position. Four weeks later, I decided to email the store director, just to make sure. She was on vacation, but she responded to my email right away. I had already planned to be in Iowa to help my grandmother that next week so I offered to meet the director for an interview. She just happened to be back from her vacation on the only day that I could meet, and I had an interview. The interview went very well, but she couldn't promise me the job - since I wasn't a dietitian yet and wouldn't be until at least the end of August. She told me to call her when I passed my exam. 

The race was on to finish my research on time. I couldn't take the exam until all requirements for both the internship and master's degree were finished. After agonizing weeks of collecting data and wondering when I would have enough, I met with my statistician and we ran the stats - I had significance! He gave me the okay to write up my results and that evening I finished writing my paper. Somehow, edits by my committee members went very quickly and they approved me to defend my research. I finally had all my requirements completed and just had to wait for paperwork to go through saying that I could take my boards. Thankfully, that paperwork went through in record time and I was approved to take the exam within a week. During this time, I had been developing worse and worse gallbladder symptoms and it was becoming obvious that I needed to have surgery. We scheduled the surgery for the earliest possible date, and I was able to schedule the exam exactly 1 week later. The surgery went very smoothly, and that weekend I served in my cousin's wedding. Then 2 days later, I took my exam - feeling slightly unprepared. By the grace of God, I passed! The next morning I called the grocery store....wondering if the job would still be there. Somehow, it was, and I was offered the position. 

I marvel at all of the little details. How everything has "somehow" worked together to bring me to this point. How I "happened" to discover dietetics. How I "happened" to end up at the perfect school for me. How I "happened" to apply to this internship, and then how I "happened" to get a match. How I "happened" to finish everything in time. How I "happened" to see the job posting and then email the director. How I "happened" to be in Iowa at exactly the right time for an interview, and the position hadn't been filled yet. How I "happened" to pass my exam on my first try. I could go on and on. When I look back, I can see His hand. Silently guiding my life. Pushing me towards His plan, even if it wasn't always my plan. Even if I didn't always feel prepared. He knew exactly what I needed, and when I needed it. 

How can I not trust Him? 
How can I not be overwhelmed by His love? 

Friday, September 11, 2015

What's Going On

I know I've been quiet lately, so I thought I'd update you all on what's been happening the last month!

I finished my internship
I finished my Master's degree
I had gallbladder surgery
My cousin got married (and I helped serve)
I took the national registration exam, and passed!
(see above picture)
I am officially a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
I submitted all my proof to the licensure board
I accepted a job offer, from my dream job

I praised God. Again, and again, and again, and again.
Because His mercies never fail.
And I am beyond excited to see where He leads me next.

Lorraine Lorenz, MS, RDN
(that never gets old ;) ) 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Selling Short

there are always people in life
who sell themselves short

"you should fill out your own evaluation"
the manager says to me -
an aging man well into his forties
"after all, you're far smarter than I'll ever be" 

"you used Word to design that project?!
well, I could never do so nicely"
little did she know the version was 
seven years outdated

"I'm completely happy with reserve champion,
besides, no one can beat an Amish girl's cooking."
oh, but he didn't realize how many times
I'd practiced that recipe 

I wonder how
so many people
sell themselves so short

don't they see how incredible they are? 
can they not comprehend the uniqueness of their gift? 

they give up
before they even try

because they don't think they'll ever make it
they might surprise themselves
if they actually did try

I've never met a person that wasn't brilliantly phenomenal
there are just some people who are blind to themselves

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Out of Love

the sunset seems so dull
and the trees are quiet
silently still

the world is pretty
but lacking in color
faded and faint

hope for the future
i feel it inside me
but where's the excitement
where is the love

there is no pain
there's also no joy

just quiet
fading into nothing

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Prove You Wrong

"You have the personality for it."

I've never heard this before.
It's always been
"Why are you so quiet?" and
"You need to smile more."

Yet somehow in the last month
I've heard
"You have the personality for it."
A half dozen times
All from different people.

Have I changed?
Am I no longer the shy girl in the back?

Maybe not.
Maybe I'm past all that now.
In my mind, I'll probably never change
But I have noticed
Speaking up more often
Smiling more
Feeling confident in who I am
And not over analyzing
Word I say.
I've even made some people laugh
And I don't dread social occasions quite so much
I look forward to presentations
And I might be better at thinking on my feet

I have hope in my heart.
I'll always be an introvert
But I'm learning
I'm learning that it's not a flaw
And it's something I can use to my advantage.

I can be who I want to be
I don't have to listen to their lies
So to all the people who've made insensitive comments
Who somehow think only extroverts can win
Only extroverts can lead
Only extroverts can make a difference
I hope you're watching.
Because I am going to prove you all wrong.

Said the girl who scored 30 out of 30 for introversion.

Friday, August 7, 2015


excitement and fear.
happy then sad.
this rush of emotions
races through me
twisting and turning
bringing back memories
raising up hope

the end of one chapter.
and the start of a new one.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Next Stop on this Journey called Life

So...It's unofficially official that within the next few weeks I'll be moving to Iowa. This is a decision that has come with much prayer and wrestling. It's something that I've known in the back of my mind for quite some time, but has just recently begun to feel more real as God has been opening door after door for me.

In a few short hours, my brother will be driving a load of clothes, my desk, and keyboard, up to my Grandma's house where I'll be living. I'll be able to be there to help my grandma and her twin sister as they are aging and could use a helping hand.

After my first job interview (which was nothing short of a miracle in itself - I "just happened" to see the one-day posting, "just happened" to email them, "just happened" to be in the area to be interviewed), I was all but offered my dream job....It's not a sealed deal yet though so prayers are appreciated.

As I reflect on the last few years, I am amazed by how the pieces fit together. How He's been preparing me for this for so long. Bringing me out of my comfort zone, increasing my trust in Him. (Because yes, even though it may sound silly, I'm a little nervous about moving so far away from home.) Even how the pieces of my education - although in seemingly unconnected areas of dietetics - almost all fit into this prospective position....

I'm sitting here in awe of God's incredible love and mercy. It's so humbling to watch Him open doors and lead me in the direction that He wants me to go. I don't know what His plan for me is yet, but I absolutely can't wait to discover it.

Saturday, August 1, 2015


[via Pinterest]

One of those days, when you second guess everything and wonder if you've made the right choice, even though you know in your heart that you have. When suddenly the weight of your decision comes to your full realization. And even though you know God has never forsaken you before and He never will... you worry about what people will think, or even say behind your back. Will they understand why you made that decision? Or will they speculate and judge? And you just want to do the safe option and you wish life could be easier and you overthink everything. And you want to reach out and ask for prayer, but you feel trapped because that will make people talk too and so you just sit down with your Bible and pray and cry. And resolve that even though this won't be easy, this is what you will do.