Friday, October 30, 2015

Going Home.

The church van rumbles down the highway, Kimble sleeps in the back seat and Sarah sits contentedly beside me. The 16 year olds chatter back and forth in the front seat, and the not so newly weds take control of the driving. The more, "sophisticated" car follows behind and I sit here with Homors Iliad book 24 on my lap. 

My heart is content, bouncing off the walls, and filled with joy. In less than 30 hours I will be back in Guatemala and holding my little girls in my arms. A year ago I was able to go on a missions trip with Orphans heart and The Lord has let me go back once again. 

To my family and friends that read this thank you for your prayers, blessings, and helping send us out. Please pray that we would be able to show the love of Jesus to the kids and their nannies. That we would truly be His hands and feet to the people of Guatemala. I ask also that you would pray for us a team. Pray that we would each discover God in a whole new way, that we would each fall in love with Him all over again.  Pray that we would let Him change us and grow each team member to grow closer to Him. 

We're taking newbies, experienced travelers, moms, students, teens.. And our team couldn't be more perfect. God allowed each one of us on this trip for a reason. 

So thank you for your prayers in advance and I'm sure I'll have stories to tell when I come back!

In Him, 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Fragmented Sentences

I blinked and summer is over. This summer held so many wonderful memories, and it also held memories that I never wanted to come so quickly. Though there is pain and grief I know that my Saviour will bring joy in the morning.

The summer started off after my graduation from North Central Michigan College.  (That was the easy part.) The college allowed me to walk despite the fact that I wouldn't be graduated until the end of summer because I was two credits short. So I enrolled in a summer class to cover those two dreaded credits,and it was probably the most boring and tedious one of them all. "Administrations and Programs  for Early Childhood" Blech, right?

And... I'm still the shortest even with the silly hat!

   So you get the picture. Graduation: Done(sorta). Summer Class: Under Progress. Since the class was online I didn't have to worry with it interfering with my summer job. Though life happened as it always does and I was let go early(like three months early) from my job. Leaving me almost job less at the start of summer. I say almost because I still had a part time job working in Bay View as a personal gardener/landscaper for a lady I met through my job at the Garden Center.

So I was taking an online class that is close to miserable, and now I'm without a source of income. 

    In mid-June Cancer once again struck its head, making me hate the disease even more.  There were days that I just wanted to throw everything away and give up. I didn't have a job, and everything felt like it was crashing down. By my standards I was a failure. Then driving home one day I heard, "Fight Song" by Rachel Platten, and as pathetic as it sounds God used a secular song to get my head back on straight. So getting myself back into gear I advertised my business and ended up with five houses that I worked for in Bay View, and in the end doing financially better than I was at my old job. 
Uncle Dan with my older sister, Hannah in 1994(?)

   Then July 18th happened, two days after my 20th birthday, Uncle Dan passed away to cancer.(I wrote about it here) It came as a shock to us all. Unlike the last death that cancer claimed this time there was a great presence of Gods peace rather than hatred and chaos. Though God gave us peace and we grew closer as a family, though that still didn't make the actual pain of death go away.

   I don't know if you've ever been through the death of a family member but it's a feeling that never goes away. Think of it like sitting on the beach and the waves are lapping at your toes, you're fine for a few moments and then the tide rolls in drenching you in a wave of painful emotions. There are days when that ocean is as still as glass, and other days when there's vast under current threatening to pull you under. The only thing that will help you stand back up and dry off  is letting Jesus hold you close drawing you out of the raging waters and set you back up on your feet.

 After July was over nothing too significant happened in August, we didn't participate in the annual Emmet County Fair due to a sick horse. Before we knew it, it was September we were walking across the mackinaw bridge on Labor Day with our friends, Jay and Cindy.
Assoc. of General Studies

It's now October and I'm taking 18 credits at NCMC. I finally have my diploma!!!! And life is back to my new normal. (Yay, for fragmented sentences!) I still miss my uncle terribly and there are still days when I get caught in the undercurrent of emotions. But this summer isn't one that I would trade for the world. God placed challenges in my life, and He showed me how to rely on his mercies every day. For that I will praise Him and continue to live the life that He blessed me with. 

"The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning;great is thy faithfulness."  Lam 3:22-23

Sunday, July 19, 2015

July 18th

    Dad's phone rang this morning at 6am rousing me out of a deep sleep. He didn't answer it in time and 30 seconds later it rang again, this time sounding more urgent. His footsteps thudded down the hallway moving farther out of ear shot with each step. Making out only the words, "Hi Daniel..." I laid in bed wide awake, listening to mom now get out of bed and move down the hallway. "Maybe Uncle Dan has had a miraculous recovery and that's why his son is calling so early.." I knew my thinking was far fetched but I didn't want to believe the real reason behind the phone call. I convinced myself to fall back asleep and woke up three hours later. Doing what everyone these days seems to do in the morning, I reached for my phone and opened up Facebook. Scrolling through my news feed I didn't paying attention to what I was looking at when I heard my Dad down the hallway tell Mom I was still asleep and he'd tell me when I woke up. In that moment I stopped scrolling and looked at my phone. "Pray for the family of Dan Zowada, Tim's brother, he passed away at 5am..." I sat up in shock and stared at my phone.Once again Cancer has struck its head and took one more person out of my life and my family's.

    My Uncle Dan could make anyone laugh. When I was a little girl he could entertain me for hours with his magic tricks (that I still haven't figured out) as well as always beat me in Clue. He'd take me and my sisters for rides in his convertible, letting us sit on the back and wave like princesses as he drove down the dirt road. Sitting in the rocking chair with his eyes closed he'd listen to me play the piano, often singing along in his rich tenor voice. I'd beam when he told me I play beautifully and play one more song just to impress him. Uncle Dan enjoyed playing his harmonica and telling jokes that would send me into a giggling fit after he explained them to me. He was a man that loved his gadgets and would often bring them Up North to show them off. Often resulting in endless hours searching for a remote-controlled helicopter that flew out of range and landed in the swamp down the road. His eyes would light up when he was about to say something silly, and his deep chuckle could make many smile. Apart from being the jokester Uncle Dan was a man of God. I could continue to tell you stories about all the things he's done but I think his relationship with God is the one that is the most important. He believed with all his heart that Jesus was his lord and savior, becuase of this I know that I will see him again. He won't be in pain or have a body filled with a deadly sickness. Maybe he'll be sitting up in heaven doing magic tricks with the angels, and possibly even beat them in Clue. Today is not a day that I am going to dwell on the fact that cancer won. Because ultimately cancer didn't win. My uncle is alive more than he ever has been before, and he gets to spend eternity with our creator. Today is a day that I will thank God for taking him home, and praise His name that I will be able to see my uncle again.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


   I'm graduating this spring in 16 days with my Associates of General Studies, with more Early childhood, and English classes than you'd care to count. With all that being said I have to actually figure out what I want to do with my life. There have been a lot of ideas floating around in my mind... Though none seem like they actually fit. All of them were ideas that other people had come up with, and not me. There is one that still remains prominent in my mind, I'm not really sure yet.

So, what do you do when you're not sure? When the road starts to turn and twist and you can't see past the next bend? What do you do...

   I'll tell you what I did: I had a major meltdown. Like crying, blubbering, and refusing to do anything but eat chocolate and drink diet coke. Pathetic, right? Coming out of said meltdown with tears plopping in large puddles on the pages of my bible I came across this verse:

"We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name, May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD even as we put out hope in you." Psalms 33:20-22

"In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name..."


So what can one do when everything comes crashing down and you find yourself in a major meltdown?

We trust in the Creator.

   Who else other than God knows of our past, present, and future? Who else other than God can take our lives and shape them into something absolutely beautiful? He takes sinners and transforms them into His people. He takes broken hearts and mends them back together with so much love that it takes your breath away. Trusting in Him is exactly what we should do, and is the only thing that we can do...

    The things of this world will pass away, the money, fame, jobs, and labels, but God will remain. He's constant and real. Always there in our messed up life. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

In which I compare Superman to Valentines Day.

   Since the last time I've wrote not a whole lot has changed, aside from the drivers license that now lays proudly in my wallet.  So since nothing has changed I don't really know why I'm writing. My fingers are frozen, my mind is bored, and my stomach won't stop growling. I'm sitting here in the college library on a nasty worn out couch. My friend is sitting across from me all hunkered down in his coat, like he's surviving a blizzard. Though I don't think I look much different. If bored to tears was actually a real thing. We'd both be sobbing.

   Speaking of sobbing, it's been a rough week aka Valentines Day is coming up... Ya, I know. I'm a sap. But for me it's not the 14th that matters so much, it's the day before. The dreaded 13th. It used to flash by on my calendar with me adding another month to my mental list. Now it sits there, glaring at me. It's always been said to be an unlucky number, but I'm not one to believe in luck.

   I do realize that everyone most likely has a day on the calendar that they dread. One that reminds you of the memories that sat in the back of your mind. Or a death of a loved one. Or even both. We can get caught up in those days, and being lost in a fog is not uncommon. Prying yourself away from it is hard, and that day will haunt you for what might seem like forever.

  I know I've talked about how people just need to move on, and get over themselves. But, it's really not that easy. It's like going to the gym and trying to run 3 miles when you haven't run in ages. It's nearly impossible unless your Superman, and we all know only Clark Kent can be Superman.

Dear one,

You're not superman, you need to learn to take every day with stride.
  • Warm yourself up, shin splints aren't any fun. (Read your Bible)
  • Learn to breath again, in through your nose, out through your mouth. (Pray)
  • Wear flexible clothing, like a favorite t-shirt, and gym shorts.(Be Yourself)
  • Buy a new pair of shoes, your old ones won't get you through.(Leave the past behind you)
  • Learn perfect form, arms at your side in a 90-degree angle moving with you as you run, not across. (Be Confident)

     In what seems like no time at all you'll be running without even so much as a glance behind you. You can do anything you set your mind to. You are incredible. Don't let a silly number change your attitude, let your heavenly father mend your mind and body back together again. Only the potter can fix his lump of clay.

In Him,
A girl with shin splits...

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Changed Heart

I've been trying to decide whether or not to even approach this topic... It's personal, painful, and could easily turn into a long rambling rant about my pain. I've been asking God how I talk about this without making it all about me, in response he whispered, "Make it about me".

Every one has had a broken heart. 

It doesn't just have to be one from a relationship gone bad. A broken heart can be from a huge disappointment, lose of a family member, or your hopes and dreams turned upside down. It's devastating, drastic, real, and often unexpected. And it's something everyone has dealt with. 

It cuts deep, sending our minds into the depths of pain. A searing, aching pain that we can't let go of. It hold us captive by continuously bombarding our mind with memories, flashbacks, and broken dreams. It can make us do ridiculous things; pushing people away when we need them most. It convinces us that keeping our thoughts and brokenness quiet inside our raging minds is a good thing.
Dear you,  
Don't let it overcome you. There will be a day when you look back at all you've lost and realize it was part of His plan for you. Don't lock yourself up waiting for life to start, when it's already spinning around you. You're hurting deeply and removing yourself from everything that once was will only prove to hurt you even more. You have family and friends that understand what you're going through. 
You're not the only one.
There are people all around you hurting, aching, grieving, and they're lost just like you.  Hiding from life isn't the answer, neither are drugs, substance abuse, anger, or revenge.You need to forgive the one that hurt you, and you need to have forgiveness from them as well.  You have been: Forgiven. Chosen. Accepted. Loved by a God so incredible heavens declare His name. Be yourself, hope in God, and keep looking at what's in front of you.  
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 
God knew what he was doing when he allowed this to happen, just like he knew what he was doing when he allowed the devil to inflict pain on Job. Think about the story of Job, everything was taken away from him, his family, house, land, livestock, and he was left with his nagging wife. Yet through it all he still proceeded to praise God. 
"The Lord gives and he takes away; blessed be the name of The Lord"- Job 1:21 
Can you imagine what it would be like if instead of wallowing in self pity, pain, and wishing revenge on someone who hurt you; if we looked to the heavens and thanked God.
Let this painful time in your life change you for the better, let it make you stronger when life chucks a basket full of lemons at you. God gave you this life because you were made specifically for it, and he knows you're strong enough to live it. Let go of the pain, don't let it hold you down any longer than it already has. Letting go doesn't mean forgetting everything that happened, it means you accept what happen, and learn from your experiences. Letting go is having the courage to accept change and the strength to keep moving. It's growing up, and finally realizing that you can't hold on to anything that isn't yours. 
Dear one, you're going to make it, I promise. There is an end in sight, let go of the pain and let God lead you. 
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."~ 1 Thes 5:16-18 
A girl with a changed heart