Sunday, February 27, 2011

To My Dad

To My Dad

With Love from Amy

My Dad - Wow! What an incredible guy!

My Dad is a caring, smart, wise, godly, persistent, adventurous, truth-loving, “out of the box” kinda guy! His diligence to preserver in the Lord’s calling in his life as a pastor, even when times were really rough and he was going through “the valley of the shadow of death” is truly inspiring, and his example I know helps me push through things now, and I know it will help me later in life as well. He has always provided for us, even when it was through really hard jobs, but he also had a firm faith in God, so if he felt that God was calling him to quit a job, or something, even if there was no visible means of support in sight, he would always take that step of faith, and God proved Himself faithful over and over again.

My Dad has always loved the truth, and once God opens his eyes to something he might be wrong about, he never stops searching until he finds the truth. He is open minded, and a good listener. When someone comes to him and shows him from the Word of God how he might be wrong, he searches it out and then changes.

Over the years I have seen so many great and amazing changes in my Dad has God has continued to hold onto his heart. I’m sure he sometimes feels like his family can’t see his amazing efforts, but I for one certainly can.

My Dad and I always got along when I was little, and then I hit the teenage years, and we began to clash, but what I find amazing about my Dad is that over the often painful teen years he always had the desire to get a hold of my heart - he had turned his hearts to his children, and would stop at nothing to win their hearts back. He spent, I’m sure countless hours in prayer and thinking and trying different things, and slipping, and getting back up again in trying to find ways to reach me in my confusion and pain of life. Yes, both of us had many times when we would “fall”, and end up fighting, but one thing that has always amazed me about my Dad is how he never ever failed to come and apologize and ask for forgiveness from me, even when it was often largely my own fault! His humble and forgiving example has taught me so much, and has helped me learn humbleness and forgiveness towards others.

Growing up my Dad always gave us the gift of his time - even when he was super tired he would invent games that he could still play with us while lying on the couch at the end of a long and hard day at work. I know he always viewed that time with regret that he didn’t do more, but I don’t remember the times that he couldn’t spend with me - I just remember the fun we had playing those little games that seemed so meaningless but actually meant so much, and always showed us that he still cared about us the most, and always had time for us, no matter how tired and beat up he was.

One of my favorite things about my Dad is how much he loves music - some of my favorite memories when I was little was when he would play the piano, and Joy and I would dance around, or played the harmonica - especially on Sunday mornings - beautiful hymns! And in later years how he learned the Banjo, ukulele, and penny whistle! I love to listen to him playing in the living room! Also his love of other sorts of music, and all the evenings we’ve all spent dancing around like crazy people in the living room!!! :OD Best memories ever!

Another thing my Dad has always done is taken us kids out on special lunches, and also on our birthdays! And he’ll often just sit there and let us blabber away, and just listen and discuss things with us! Such wonderful memories! :-)

Lately my Dad has been so sweet and amazing, even as I go through the ups and downs of becoming an adult. Sometimes I’ll be freaking out, and he’ll come and just say, “Hey, what’s going on? You ok?” And it means SO much to me. He’s such a good listener, and always lets me know he’s there for me. I feel like I’m growing closer and closer to my Dad every day.

He’s also been an amazing support to me lately in school, and as I have been preparing to take my first mission trip - support that has been much needed.

No, neither of us are perfect, but I truly believe that no matter what happens in life my Dad will always love me and be there for me.

God has given me an amazing Dad - one who I wouldn’t trade for anyone else in the whole world!

Thank you Lord for my Dad!

Dad - I love you!

To My Mom

To My Mother

With Love from Her Daughter Amy

My mother is one of the most amazing women I know.
She is selfless, brave, wise, kind, knowledgeable, incredibly smart, caring, godly, hardworking, and possesses so many other qualities which I can merely only hope and pray I obtain.

My mother gave me the greatest blessing all throughout my childhood and teen years - she gave me and my siblings of herself - she gave us her time and love. She was always there to listen, teach, and train us up in the ways of godliness. She chose to homeschool us, which was such an amazing gift from the Lord. But in our homeschooling, she didn’t just “school” us, she always showed us that the most important thing in life wasn’t being incredibly smart (good thing, cause I failed there ;-)), it wasn’t about someday getting a good career, earning lots of money, becoming famous, or even “succeeding” in life. She always taught us, and showed us with her example that THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS FOLLOWING THE LORD. It didn’t matter (much ;-)) to her that we couldn’t do math, or that we never even made it to learning Algebra. It didn’t matter to her how much “head knowledge” I had - all that mattered to her was seeing us walking in the Lord’s way. And she demonstrated this daily. Each morning we would start out right after breakfast by all sitting down in the living room (it didn’t matter if we were still in our PJ’s, or if our “start” of the day didn’t happen until almost lunch time), and she would open the Bible and begin to read - we read through the Bible several times I believe growing up. Then she would talk about it a little, and we’d sing hymns together, and pray. Yes, sometimes it would take SOOO long to get through just Bible study, and often times we’d be fighting and testing her patience in SO many ways, and sometimes we would never even get to Math, Science, and History, but in spite of all the fighting and glitches and the hard and stressful time Bible study sometimes ended up being because of what we were acting like, that was one thing SHE NEVER GAVE UP ON. Every single morning we’d gather. And I believe through her persistence to put the Lord first, and her diligence to teach us about the Lord FIRST is what has really helped me to stand strong in the Lord.

I have never been a highly intelligent person, or super smart, or anything like that, and I was a difficult student with learning disabilities, but the thing that I came away from all the years she spent diligently teaching us was that following the Lord was the most important thing, and I believe that is the lesson she wanted us MOST to get.

BUT my Mother’s wonderful giving of herself didn’t stop when I stopped being a baby, and she started homeschooling me, or when I hit highschool (and she continued to persevere with teaching me), or when I stood up on my graduation day, gave a speech, and hugged her and my Dad. She didn’t wash her hands and say, “Phew! My job with THAT one is done anyways!” Nor did it stop when I entered college - nope! My Mom is one of the only reasons I am succeeding in college right now. She’s always there to tell me I can do it, she spends countless hours editing my bad papers (only reason I’m doing good in English!), making phone calls for me, researching things on the Internet, listening to me as I sit in the kitchen stressing about an upcoming exam or project, and I know she’s always praying for me as I encounter each thing.

The other thing my Mom has always done for me is listen - My mom is an AMAZING listener, and I always felt like I could go to her with any problem or dream and she would truly listen and help me. All growing up she would encourage me in each dream - silly or serious - that I came to her with. She never tried to discourage me (she left that up to God, knowing He was the only One who could take the stupid dreams away!), but would talk to me about them and help me obtain those goals. There were times when the only person who understood and tried to help in my life was my Mom. So many times she would be the buffer between my Dad and I when we would have trouble listening to each other and discussing and sharing our own ideas. She would be the “middle” man, and I know I owe my good relationship with my Dad now partly to her help and prayers for both of us. My Mom never has given up on me in my life - and believe me! If I had a daughter like me I probably would have given up a LOOONG time ago. She stayed loving and amazing all throughout my hard times in life, and even when she couldn’t get through to me, I know she was always praying for me.

And now, some of my biggest dreams are starting to come true largely because of her - she has always been my strongest supporter. When everyone else had fears and doubts about my dream of becoming a missionary as I was growing up, my Mother instead was always the first to listen and say, “How can I help?”

Yes, neither of us are perfect. My Mom and I have had our share of hard times in our relationship. We still do (largely due to my selfishness and unkindness), but I still know that she is my biggest supporter. She’s on my team - she’s my cheerleader! Even when I push her away she still keeps coming back and encouraging me.

I love my Mom so incredibly much. When she has a bad day, I wish I could make it better (I usually end up making it worse). Above all things I want her to be happy. I want her to have the best life anyone could ever dream of. I want her to have whatever she wants. I would walk to the end of the world to make her happy. (I might not do the dishes, but God is sure working on me about stuff like that! ;-)).

A mother is one of God’s greatest and most amazing gifts and blessings. I cherish my mother! And no matter what happens in life, or where God leads me, she is, and always will be, deep deep deep and close close close in/to my heart. And I ain’t going to let her go!

God, thank you for my Mother!

Mom - I love you!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

From the website

This is some more info from the website about safety issues. :-)

"As far as risks in traveling, Uganda is actually one of the safest places to travel. The country is very visitor friendly. The people here are mostly very peaceful and non-violent. The Bradt Travel guide states that Uganda is one of the safest places for tourists.

*Town where I'm going* is probably one of the safest places in Uganda, and Uganda is one of the safest places in the developing world to travel. We have had many volunteers come and go without any incident. What you may hear about on the news concerning Uganda involves rebel activity in the north, and does not affect us."

Africa - the hows, whats, and whys of it all

So, as many people know by now, my friend HannahBeth and I are, Lord willing, going to be taking a volunteer missions trip to Africa this summer (Eep! :OD), and I have received lots of Q's about it, so I've decided it was time for a blog post! :-) So here's some information about not only why I'm going, but also some stuff that will hopefully put people's minds at rest, since I know Africa is pretty scary sounding! And I am SO blessed to have SO many wonderful people who loved me and care about me, and I sure wouldn't want them to worry about me! :-)
So before I begin - PLEASE feel free to email me or leave me a comment with more questions or concerns!! Also, for privacy sake I am not going to be putting the link to where I am going in this blog post. If you would like to see it, please e-mail me and I will send it to you! :-) Unspecific info is better for blogs I think! ;-)

Anyways - Africa in 2011 - wow! I can hardly believe this dream is coming true! It may seem to have happened really quick to some people, but in reality, this has been a dream of mine since I was about 12-years-old! It was when I first read a book about a missionary to Egypt named Lillian Trasher (amazing woman, go find a book about her!!), as I read that book I could feel God pressing it on my heart, "This is what I want you to do with your life!" And ever since I have felt that call, I have never been the same, and it has never gone away. Now, a little side-track to here to clarify - I have been interesting in MANY things over my life, and have started some, and the interest has fairly quickly gone away, or some I have just almost had a possibility of doing something I've been interested in, and just the THOUGHT of ACTUALLY doing it sorta takes away that interest - this calling - to be a missionary and rescue and love kids - that has NEVER happened too!! I still truly believe that is what I will be doing for the rest of my life UNLESS God CLEARLY shows me differently.
Anyways, back to my story - growing up I never went on any mission trips, or anything like that, and I prayed for years and years that when the time came for me to go, that my family - parents and siblings - would be really cool with it! And just in the past year or two I have seen that prayer answered - not only are they totally cool with it, they are really excited for me! Wow! What a blessing it is to get to do things like whisper to my older sister/best friend "I'm going to Africa!" and have that send us off squealing. :OD
So, anyways, no mission trips were even considered by my parents until about last year this time when I started mentioning it, and they started thinking more about it, and started talking about how since I'm an adult now, they'd be cool with it (Praise the Lord!). And so this past fall/winter when I came and said I was thinking seriously about going on a volunteer trip somewhere this coming summer, they fully supported me in that decision just saying that they would prefer I'd travel with someone else, and if you ARE an adult, you should know by now that a lot of times your parents have GOOD ideas ;-) so I was like, "Yup, I'm cool with that arrangement", and not long after that asked my friend HannahBeth to pray because I was searching for someone to go with me, and her response? "Look no farther!" (Wow, I love that girl - and keep your eyes on ALL the details God has been bringing together in SUCH an amazing and almost unbelievable way through this whole process!) - wow! An almost IMMEDIATE answer to prayer (and what a blessing for God to chose one of my very best friends to go with me - HannahBeth has been SUCH an amazing encouragement to me since we became friends! And ever since we started this processes she has just been amazing about details and finding things out - working together is def. a wonderful thing! Whew, takes SO much stress and pressure away from both of us!!!).
So we searched around and found two places - one was the place where we both sponsor children from, but they aren't accepting volunteers at this time, so the next place was a orphanage for babies to age 5 in Africa!
Why did we choose this place almost right away???
Well, for one thing we know lots of people who have gone there - not only do we have a mutual friend who was there just the beginning of last year, a pastor in a sister church and his family just recently adopted a little boy from there!! (And so have been there a couple times!), AND HannahBeth knows one couple who have adopted twice from there - and so have been there a couple times, AND another person who has been there! And so we had lots of people to check up on this place "for us"! :-) Also the place we are going has a very detailed website - lots of info for volunteers (other sites it's often hard to tell what they are all about, and all that), and it is in a SAFE part of Africa!!! (Yes, for our first missions trip ever, we decided a safe place would be good! ;-) Who knows where God will lead us later in life, and I know I am always in His hands, but safe was another blessing about this place!!! :-)).
So we applied there, and went for passports in December, which came back amazingly fast, and God really worked out details for that!! :-)
So after a few glitches with sending in the application (had to use my Aunt's computer cause the place couldn't open my Mac application!), we got them officially sent in, and were told we'd hear back from the place in a couple weeks.
So we waited, and trusted God that if this was HIS will we would get accepted, and if not then... We wouldn't! ;-) Anyways, then Tuesday night I believe it was I was sitting doing work on the computer, and I saw I had an email, so I went and checked and - OH MY WORD!!!! YES! I had been accepted!!!! Glancing at the clock and seeing it was only 10:30 at night I quickly texted HannahBeth hoping she was awake, she was and called me right away when I said, "Can I call you????" So I told her to check her email and EEPP!!! She was accepted too!!!! :OD Needless to say that was one of the most AMAZING nights of my life!!! :OD (And it's been an amazing week because of that - no matter what goes wrong my heart keeps singing, "You are going to Africa! You are going to Africa!" (This is all Lord willing of course!!! Things could change of course, but I'm leaving that up to God! And I still can't believe we have actually made it this far!!! :OD).
God has been teaching me SO much through this process - one thing is about stepping out as an adult! Yes, going to school was a first BIG step for me, but making this decision, and working on all the details - wow! Yes, I know it's time to become an adult, and to actually truly start on the path God has mapped out for me, and it's really exciting - this stage of just beginning adulthood! Yes, I still need my parents and other wise adults inputs, but I also need to learn how to be a responsible, mature adult! Yikes - exciting and scary! ;-)

Fear???? Um yes! Lots of fear and worries and doubts - over all the years and now - questions keep racing through my head! And things like, "Are you nuts??? Are you SURE you don't want to just go hide under the bed for the rest of your life??? You have a potentially AMAZING career ahead of you in Deaf studies - are you SURE you want to give that up someday and go to another country to serve?? You love it so much!"
And the answer is - Yes, I DO sometimes really just want to hide under my bed, life a perfectly "normal" life, get that amazing career I love in Deaf studies, and yet I CAN'T! That's right - it's to late for me - I cannot NOT follow where God is telling me to go! He has completely stolen my heart! Yes, there are fears! But something God has been teaching me is found in Romans 8:15 -

"For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father.'"

And in 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

In Christ I don't have to have that "spirit of bondage to fear" - He has released me from the terrifying fears which I had all throughout childhood, and given me the Spirit which makes me cry out unashamedly, "ABBA FATHER!" - He's my FATHER! He's my SAVIOR, He's my GOD, He's my KING, He's my PROTECTOR, He's my ALL IN ALL, He has bought my heart - He has saved me from hell!!!!!! And my amazing King, God, and Savior is telling me "Go" and that's what I HAVE to do - GO! No matter what people tell me - no matter if it's "smart" or not! I'm not going to live a "smart" life - I am going to be a fool for God! I am going to follow His lead, even if I end up being killed for my faith someday - I CANNOT WAVER! I CANNOT say "no" to God - And I don't want too! I have the Spirit of God living it me, and He has, and is daily, taking away that spirit of fear! I know that no matter WHERE I go, or what I do, He is with me, and protecting me!
And, no, I cannot guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen to me - but I CAN guarantee that NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS GOD IS WITH ME! And HE will give me the grace to go through anything! Because I know He is carrying me through it all!!
As Stonewall Jackson once said -

"Captain, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. Captain, that is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave."

Amen! Lord, where You lead I will follow! Forever and ever amen! You have my heart, and I know You aren't giving it back! I praise You for Your amazing grace to me and Your calling on my life! Lead me Lord! Lead me right up to the lions mouth with no fear!

Friday, February 18, 2011


This verse from Laura Story's song "Perfect Peace" I find to be so beautiful and comforting lately! :-) Especially the first 2 lines - Though God may not be going to STOP the hurt, or "calm the storm" we can ALWAYS hide in HIM, and He will protect us and give us perfect peace! Thank you Father!

"Though I may not calm the storms around you
you can hide in Me
burdens that you bear
offer no relief
let Me bear your load
cause I will give you perfect peace"

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My New Favorite Song! :OD

Saturday, February 12, 2011

All I know to do, is lift my hands to You!

Make Something Beautiful

By Laura Story

When I’m at the point of breaking

At the place where I resign.

When I’m at this stage of shaking my head

As I look back on my life.

When I’m halfway through the grieving

But not quite through the ache.

When I cannot see the ending

Or which road I’m supposed to take.

All I know to do, is lift my hands to You!

Take all of my life, all of my life,

And make something beautiful!

If I open my hand, trusting Your plan,

Make something beautiful,

So all will see, Your work in me,

As You make something beautiful.

When I’m tired of pretending,

And I can’t recall my lines.

Will you say I’m barely breathing,

Or just say I’m doing fine.

I admit there is a yearning,

For the hurting to subside.

But not at the risk of losing,

What You’re doing in my life.

And all I know to do, is lift my hands to You!

Take all of my life, all of my life,

And make something beautiful!

If I open my hand, trusting Your plan,

Make something beautiful,

So all will see, Your work in me,

As You make something beautiful.

Make something beautiful!

Cause all I know to do, is lift my hands to You.

All I know to do, is lift my hands to You!

Take all of my life, all of my life,

And make something beautiful!

If I open my hand, trusting Your plan,

To make something beautiful.

Take all of my life, all of my life,

And make something beautiful.

So open my hand, I’m trusting Your plan,

To make something beautiful.

So all will see, Your work in me,

As You make something beautiful.

Make something beautiful.

That You make it beautiful!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

God, you are an awesome God!

"But as for me, I would seek God, and to God I would commit my cause - Who does great things, and unsearchable, marvelous things without number." ~ Job 5:8-9

Amazin' Friend!

This girl - what can I say except she's amazing and I love her like nuts!!! :OD
When I first met Olivia on a Christian girls forum, I was stuck right away with how friendly and sweet she was! I remember how after we met in the "meeting room" not to long after that she sent me a private message saying she was hoping we could write back and forth and get to know each other better - little did I know what an amazing friendship would start right at that moment!
I admire Livy SO much - she has such a passion for Christ and has helped me grow in the Lord in SO many ways! We laughed together, talked seriously, joked, told secrets, prayed together, cried together, and she has become such a dear sister in Christ.
Another thing that I love about Olivia is her passion for missions. After finding out that we both had a similar passion we have been able to support and encourage each other a lot in that area - I am so blessed to have ended up with a friend who has that same calling as me! We talked for sooooo long about our dreams of becoming missionaries, and now she is the first one to be taking that big step! Yes folks, she's off on an amazing mission adventure, and I am sooo excited for her - my missionary minded sister - being the first to have that dream start to come true!
Darling - you are in my thoughts, prayers, and heart! Have an amazing trip, and I can't wait till you return and we have that next video chat and you can tell me alllllllll about it! (Including much that I'm sure you are going to tell me in e-mails! *Hint hint and stern glare* ;-) ;-) JK!).
Today I received her graduation picture and a sweet note! That pic is going up on my wall - that beautiful friendly smile will brighten up my day when I see it!
Love you dear friend and sister! Have an amazing time! *Heart*

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The life of a college student...

English paper, draft number 2,000,000,001.
Just sayin... :-P No, actually I have writers block, so only one other even attempt so far... *Sighs*

Saturday, February 5, 2011

These are a few of my favorite (?) things! ;-)

This post is compiled of suggestions of what to post from friends! Except for the first one, they are not my very favorite things in the whole world, mostly just for fun! But the first one of course, IS my VERY favorite!! :OD

Favorite thing #1 (Suggestion from Rosy!) - Jesus!! <3>

“ Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘ Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!"
Hosanna in the highest!”~ Matthew 21:9b

I love the kid Bible songs from Steve Green - this one is one of my very favorites! It is so beautiful! :-) Jesus came to save us all from our sins!! And He will come again!!! How amazing and wonderful and breathtaking!!!! What an amazing Savior we serve!!! :OD


Favorite (?) thing #2 (Suggestion from Sam) - Daniel from Larkrise to Candleford? O_o Wait, is this MY favorite things list or SAM's?? *Is suspicious*


Daniel is a nice dude, but I shall leave him to Sam! ;-)


Favorite (?) thing #3 (Suggestion from Bee) - "Every Northern Girl's Favorite thing - SNOW!"


Snow is BEAUTIFUL! The other day I was driving in the night, and the snow that was gently coming down was SPARKLING all over the road!! It was SOOOOOO beautiful! Wow!! (Yes, it is not always one of my favorite things, but hey, I'm a New England girl - I gotta love winter! :-)).


Favorite thing # 4 (Suggestion from Cathy) - My Sunflower shoes!!


Wore these officially yesterday for the first time! *Love* Reminds me of spring each time I look at my feet! O:-) And look, they have little butterfly pendants on each foot!! :OD


Favorite thing # 5 (Suggestion from Cathy) - FOOOD!!!!


My sister has been making some of the most deLICIOUS meals lately! *Happy sigh* I looove food! :OD

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friends! (Quote Stolen from Janna! ;-)).

The friend who holds your hand and says the wrong thing is made of dearer stuff than the one who stays away. ~Barbara Kingsolver

Thursday, February 3, 2011


This is me. :-P

She swallowed ths bird to catch the spider, that wiggled, and squiggled, and jiggled inside her...

Please ignore my title! I have NO idea what made me think of that! Because swallowing THIS beautiful bird would NOT be something I'd want to do! :-P Isn't this picture BeaUtiful??! So much like Spring!! :-)
That is one good thing about winter - we still have birds!! Like chickadees, blue jays, cardinals, etc etc etc!! :OD

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Inspired by Sam - My Day -

Today I - Slept in

Was a bit cranky about having to get up :-P

Took time to laze around

Read the last pages of the 2nd Mysterious Benedict Society book...

And finished! :-)

Had a phone chat with Bee - sooo encouraging and uplifting! Also received and exciting phone call from Sam!! EEP! Keep your eye on Sister to Sister blog!! :-)

Chatted with Sam several times! Larkrise tonight - Eep! :OD

Put away my clean clothes :-)

Did a bit of homework - still working on this last one! ;-)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

An Afternoon of Rest

Well after working this morning, and then doing an online note-taking training course, I was soooo tired, and ended up going and just laying on my bed and reading my fun book (I guess I'm not feeling pressured by hw today! :-P), and then later watched some cartoons with the fam! It was sooooo nice to finally have at least half a day of real rest! Haven't had that in several weeks!! :-) Of course now I'm wishing I was still on winter break, but... ;-)
Nice snow day! <3 :-)