January 30, 2012

Isaiah 43

Isaiah 43

1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your stead.

4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.

5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.

6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth—

7 everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”

8 Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,
who have ears but are deaf.

9 All the nations gather together
and the peoples assemble.
Which of their gods foretold this
and proclaimed to us the former things?
Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,
so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”

10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor will there be one after me.

11 I, even I, am the LORD,
and apart from me there is no savior.

12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—
I, and not some foreign god among you.
You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God.
 13 Yes, and from ancient days I am he.
No one can deliver out of my hand.
When I act, who can reverse it?”

14 This is what the LORD says—
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“For your sake I will send to Babylon
and bring down as fugitives all the Babylonians,
   in the ships in which they took pride.

15 I am the LORD, your Holy One,
Israel’s Creator, your King.”
16 This is what the LORD says—
he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,
17 who drew out the chariots and horses,
the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:

18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.

19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
20 The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,

 21 the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.

22 “Yet you have not called on me, Jacob,
you have not wearied yourselves for me, Israel.

23 You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings,
nor honored me with your sacrifices.
I have not burdened you with grain offerings
nor wearied you with demands for incense.

24 You have not bought any fragrant calamus for me,
or lavished on me the fat of your sacrifices.
But you have burdened me with your sins
and wearied me with your offenses.

25 “I, even I, am he who blots out
your transgressions, for my own sake,
and remembers your sins no more.

26 Review the past for me,
let us argue the matter together;
state the case for your innocence.

27 Your first father sinned;
those I sent to teach you rebelled against me.

28 So I disgraced the dignitaries of your temple;
I consigned Jacob to destruction
   and Israel to scorn.

January 29, 2012


After going on a retreat with my college group this weekend, one thing is absolutely clear to me.
 I love camp.
Now, this is really not a secret. No, not at all. But I honestly believe I am meant to be at a camp. My soul just comes alive at a camp. I love the smells. The freshness. Walking to the bathroom. Yeah, I know. Shocking--but it is part of camp. So I love it. I love being muddy. I love dressing casually. I love not wearing makeup. I love waking up in a sleeping bag. I love camp games. I love camp food. I love camp activities. I could go on and on. But I just LOVE camp.

January 26, 2012

He is enough. He is peace.

"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts & minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

I heard this passage read on the radio on my way to work today. I literally was in shock and started praying. I realized that I have all these things I am concerned about right now. There are things that weigh heavy on my mind, but the reality is that God is all I need. He has already done so much for me and taken care of all my needs. He is enough for me. I don't need more than he has given me. I have desires and dreams, but I know what He has for me is the best. He will give me peace when I reach contentment in him and stop striving.

"What heights of love, what depths of peace. Where fears are stilled, and strivings cease"

January 24, 2012

Stack em

I really enjoyed work today. I played speed stacks for most of the day. It was awesome! My record is 28 seconds. My co-worker's record is 13 seconds. Crazy!

When one of the kids got picked up, his mom happened to notice my hands. She commented on how beautiful my hands were. I said thank you, but dismissed her compliment. She went on about it and said what beautiful ring pictures I'll get when I get married. I replied by saying, "if that ever happens!" Immediately, she told me what a catch I am and how lucky my future husband will be.

She has no idea how much her small comment touched me.

January 23, 2012

...This wasn't part of MY plan

When God changes our plans, we need to react in faith. God changes our plans because his plans are bigger and better than anything we could have imagined. God is not selling us short.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isiah 55:8-9

Moments of faith are to allows God's thoughts, plans, and ways to operate, lead, and motivate our lives. It gives us a peace that we are following Him. It may not be comfortable, but it is always worth it. After the trial is over, we can truly see why God put us through it.

God, thank you for changing the plans I had for my life. I know and believe your plans are better for me. I don't always see what you are doing, and I certainly do not understand, but I know you are good and I want to trust in what you are doing.

January 22, 2012

I'm an aunt!

On December 22, 2011, we welcomed my nephew to our family. His name is Blake Daniel Curcio, born from Stasia and Dan Curcio in Santee, CA.
My brother, Dan, and his wife, Stasia-about to push!

Dan and I with newborn baby Blake
Then we got to spend a wonderful Christmas with Stasia's parents, and my parents all together. This is the first time we have all been together since the wedding of Dan and Stasia. I really loved having everyone together spending Christmas with our new love, baby Blake. Since he was born on the 22nd, Dan and Stasia got to bring him home on Christmas Eve, which was just perfect!

Stasia and Dan in the front, holding baby Blake, then my Dad, my Mom, myself, Jim, and Cindy

me getting some cuddle time with my nephew

Baby Blake 1 month old today. He's already so big!

Crazy weather we're having...

Snow. Ice. Flooding. Emergency weather advisory.
Just a few of the weather headlines I had flash on my tv and come through my e-mails this last week.
Happening right in my own town of Corvallis, Oregon. Home of Oregon State University.

It all started on Sunday the 16th. I woke up to a winter wonderland! It was wonderful. Monday was a holiday, so I didn't have classes. It snowed a bit more the next few days, and then it quickly turned to slush by Wednesday the 18th, when it had been pouring like mad on top of snow melt. On Tuesday and Wednesday, there was a campus delay, causing classes to start at 10 am. Thursday, I recieved e-mails from my teachers that classes were going to be canceled, but Oregon State was still open.
Later that evening, after getting e-mails and notifications about schools closing down, my roommate and I decided to venture out of our warm little apartment to explore the flooding in Corvallis.
my roomie, Aubrey and I in the shallow part of the flooded streets


January 16, 2012

You have restored me

I can honestly say God is God of miracles. He transforms lives. He has done it in me.

"you have restored me, from my feeble and broken soul" -Jeremy Camp

Four months ago when I became single, I thought everything was over. But it really was just the end of my plan and the beginning of God showing me His. Now that my perspective and attitude has aligned with my Father, life is better. I can honestly say I am experiencing joy like never before. I am content in where I am at in life and excited to see where God takes me next.

"Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me" Psalm 51:12

From the time I left Corban (November 2010) to September 2011, I had pretty much hit rock bottom. I was a grumpy person who was not looking to God. I was following my own plan, my own way. I cared what God had for me, but I thought what I had was set and I wasn't too concerned with it. I lived in fear and had huge walls that I thought were protecting me. I viewed my friends as people who I could use to make myself feel better. I used people to fill the gaps in my heart that only God could fill.

I have been transformed. My walls do not exist anymore. God has restored me. I now view my friends as blessings who I have the opportunity to bless and experience life with. My fulfillment is in the Lord and it makes my relationships so less stressful and much more enjoyable. I am honestly okay and happy following whatever God has for me next. I'm holding my Fathers hand joyfully open to whatever each day is going to hold. I am concerned about my relationship with God and I am spending daily time with Him. (This is a HUGE deal because I had always wanted constant communication and relationship with God, but I never had the discipline to do it, until now!) I don't live in fear anymore. :) I am fulfilled in the Lord and aware of what He promises and says about me and who I am in Him. I'm excited and full of joy of where God is going to take my life.

All I can say is PRAISE THE LORD!

January 10, 2012


 There is something beautiful about when a shell is cracked to reveal something wonderful inside.
Think about it: how many things have a shell you need to crack to enjoy its wonderfulness.
Nuts, Coconuts, Eggs, Crab, and I'm sure there is more, but that's all I've got for now.

Just like in our own lives, sometimes God needs to crack us up and rock our world to be able to fill us with Him. Sometimes, God has to break us to plant a seed that makes us grow more than we can even imagine.

I think the same is true with a butterfly.
A butterfly starts as a caterpillar. No offense to God, but they aren't the most beautiful creatures. Then the caterpillar makes a cocoon, where it stays for a certain period of time. The time grows the caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. At the end of that time, it breaks out of the shell and emerges beautiful, radiant, and captivating. I am joyful to say God is doing the same thing with me. I love the way He is stretching me, growing me, and where God is taking me. :)

January 8, 2012

It is truly amazing the way God uses the baggage, the ugliness, the dirt from your life to bless, encourage, and love others. The way God takes dust and makes it beautiful. After a long conversation with a friend today, I am left amazed. Amazed that my sin, my mistakes, and my regrets brought her comfort, hope, and encouragement. I cannot say enough how amazing my Father is and the way He works.

God, thank you for taking me down the roads you have taken me. Although I cannot always see the purpose or the outcome, I know you have a bigger plan and I will forever put my trust in you. Thank you for letting me see a glimpse of how you are using me and my story. Thank you for answering my prayer.

“I don't always knew where this life is going. I can't see the end of the road, but here is the great part: Courage is not about knowing the path. It is about taking the first step. It is about Peter getting out of the boat, stepping out onto the water with complete faith that Jesus will not let him drown.”- Katie J. Davis