Monday, October 15, 2012

Love Extravagantly

This past weekend I went on a Ladies retreat with some women from my church. It was located in Frankenmuth and the entire weekend was about realizing that you are God's and He made you special. God thought about each and everyone of us. He crafted and molded me into who I am today, this very second. I am not perfect. I have made many, MANY mistakes. I am bitter, jaded, and easily wounded. But my time for moving forward is now.

There are some things that I am going to have to remind myself of, in order to move on. First of which being, I am loved. Despite the things said about me or written about me, God has made it so apparent to me that I am deeply loved. He holds and protects my heart like a person protecting a valuable treasure. He reminds me on a daily basis that I am thought of, treasured and wanted. He sends people to rescue me from my self-destructive patterns. 

The second thing I am going to have to remind myself of is the fact that I am not my past. He is aligning my future. He is actively placing people, important events, and special purposes for me to further His kingdom. I am so grateful for his mercy and unconditional love!

The third and last thing to remind myself to do, is to love extravagantly, without holding back. This is no small task. I have been challenged to love everyone around me, not just the ones who are easy to love. I need to love those who cause me heart ache, those who anger me, those who mean to cause me harm. I have to love EVERYONE. This love may look differently than the love that is given to my family or close friends. I want to be the person who is known for loving others in spite of any situation. I am not going to be successful every time, but I am going to try my hardest.

In the book, The Message, it says in 1 Corinthians 13: 3-7

"If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love."

I am bankrupt without love. Nothing else matters. It doesn't matter what the world is saying to me or how the world is telling me I should treat people. God has given me a higher purpose than what the world dictates. People's words do not define me, God defines me. HE chose me.Thank you God for staying so close and being small enough to hear me when I am in need. Thank you God for second chances and your redeeming love. Without it, I am nothing.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Send your rain

I encourage you to read these lyrics or even go to Youtube and listen to the song on this rainy day.


Send some rain, would You send some rain?
'Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again
And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade
Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud?
Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down
Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid
But maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case ...

We'll give thanks to You with gratitude
For lessons learned in how to thirst for You
How to bless the very sun that warms our face
If You never send us rain

Daily bread, give us daily bread
Bless our bodies, keep our children fed
Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight
Wrap us up and warm us through
Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs
Let us slumber safe from danger's view this time
Or maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case ...

We'll give thanks to You with gratitude
A lesson learned to hunger after You
That a starry sky offers a better view
If no roof is overhead
And if we never taste that bread

Oh, the differences that often are between
Everything we want and what we really need

So grant us peace, Jesus, grant us peace
Move our hearts to hear a single beat
Between alibis and enemies tonight
Or maybe not, not today
Peace might be another world away
And if that's the case ...

We'll give thanks to You with gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessd beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
And if You never grant us peace ...

But, Jesus, would You please ... 

-Nicole Nordeman-

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Exodus 14:14

These past two month have been really draining. At times emotionally and physically but especially spiritually. I have noticed God trying to get my attention for a while now and I have been ignoring His voice and messages through other people, directly allowing Satan to speak lies to me that have brought me to a dark place. This has been happening for a long time... I don't know how else to describe these past two months then by saying this, I have never felt God so much in my life and I have never felt Satan so much in my life too. Not to say that God hasn't been with me this past year and so many months but I can feel Him tending to me differently now. I can feel his protection.

A dream that I had had almost a year ago now, came back into my dream cycle last night. It was one of those dreams that feels so real that completely freaked me out when I woke up. The last time I had this dream I cried for hours after I had awoke and could not sleep for a week after it and even when I did eventually sleep, I slept with my light on for weeks.

My dream was short but, seemed to last forever.

I was living in Veronica's old house at the time in the basement where I had my make shift room. I had a dream that I woke up in real life still in my bed in that basement. My friend Liz was sitting up right with a face ridden with terror. She kept her eyes fixed...staring straight forward as she pulled me to a sitting position beside her, begging me in a low, petrified whisper, "Look, look Sarah. Oh my God help." My shaking hands immediately covered my eyes as I whispered back, "No. No Liz. I can't look. She kept urging me to look and I kept refusing.

The bad thing about a dream is that you can be in two places at once.

I suddenly saw myself on the bed with Liz then I moved my eyes straight forward to the direction that Liz was looking. And there he was... dark and empty. No definite outline of him was portrayed. There were no horns on him. No devil tail like you see in cartoons. It was a massive pit of darkness. He reeked of hatred, corruption and maliciousness. All of the light that was in existence before, now was being vacuumed by this deep abyss that stood at the end of my bed. He was taunting me. Making me feel his darkness as it slowly started to creep it's way and consume the edge of my bed. It had almost reached my feet when I awoke, sweating, crying, shaking and praying...

The first time I had this dream it seriously messed me up. I wrote about it and even tried drawing what I saw, thinking that if I did I wouldn't dream about it again... this was my attempt..

The red part is the headboard of my old bed.

The difference about having that dream then and having the dream last night was the a bible verse I had recently discovered.

I happened to be sent this "message from God" via Pinterest one night. It was on a board with the bible verse Exodus 14:14 written on it. It read, "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."

I don't know why the devil is working so hard on making sure that I am incapacitated on a daily basis. My only explanation is that I am doing something the devil doesn't like. Or that God's ultimate plan for me is something that the Devil has to stop from happening...Either way, I am making Satan nervous. 
And it feels good :]

God is light. And where there is light...there is no darkness.

This past weekend my group SOLA had sung at a youth rally event called Christ teens and the theme for the weekend was, "In the Dark". The worship was so healing and God spoke to me a lot during the weekend. There was no drama and I had a great time in the company of all my friends. I wanted to remember this weekend and the realizations that I have had around this time so that is why I am writing this blog post. 

Here are some photos from the weekend. 
Some of them are pretty silly :)

 This last shot was taken from the plane as the sun was beautiful.
I love making new memories.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

GCG 2012

Gulf Coast Getaway is an event for college students from different campuses around the U.S to get together. It is located in Panama City Beach, Florida. Throughout the weekend the students are immersed in the word of God and find that focus on Jesus that we all strive to maintain throughout our lives.

I have only been to this event twice, this being my second year and this year was definitely a different experience than last year. First of all, last year I don't entirely remember...I try not to because it was a painful time. But I do remember the overall feeling of last year compared to this year's trip.

This year was healing and eye-opening. There is something about being surrounded by God's beauty, people you love and singing that really puts a person in a great mood. All though this trip was healing I found myself challenged by the messages that were taught and really having to look at myself in a way I haven't for along time. Some where along the way I have lost my focus. The whole weekend was about Jesus. Focusing on Jesus. Not being distracted by phones or technology or drama...this is something I am not good at now. Randy Harris said in one of his teaching this weekend that the biggest detriment to our relationship with Jesus, more importantly our salvation, are the distractions in this world. He challenged everyone to be present. Think about what is happening now, in this moment.

Being present is something I have not wanted to do. I am always looking toward the future hoping for something better, for things to get better. Whether that would be a better relationship, a better opportunity or a better outlook.

I now realize that I need to get back. I need to refocus my eyes. I need to be present even if it is painful. I can't make my problems go away by using other things that just numb me. I am excited to get started on focusing on God and my relationship with him. And I am excited to start thinking better about myself and working on who God needs me to be so that I can do His kingdom work. 

That is why we are all here. 

This past weekend I decided to get a tattoo. I have been wanting another one for the longest time. But I had trouble thinking of something that would commemorate everything that has molded me into who I am today. I wanted the tattoo to be something that reminded me of Jeremy and something that reminded me that God is always near.

This is what I ended up getting.

These words speak volumes to what I want to remember on a daily basis. These are lyrics to Jeremy and I's favorite song. This song was sang on the day of his funeral. Deeperstill led it. Every time I look at the tattoo I remember the feelings I felt when I was standing in the church hands lifted, sobbing, praying and scared to death all at once. I remember thinking, 

"God I feel You."
"You are here."
"You always will be."
"I don't know how we will all survive this but I will be still and know you are God."
 I had never felt God that close than I had in that moment. I ache for that feeling of His arms around me, His presence surrounding me, His love renewing me. My tattoo is a reminder of that.

The weekend was great! Shared by great friends and new memories being formed at every turn and of course hilarious pictures! Some of which I want to share with you now, so ENJOY! :)

Such a blessed weekend...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Through My Eyes...

This day has been incredibly difficult. I haven't had very good control over my emotions. I have cried a lot and wish that I would feel something else then anxiety and depression. I have decided to tell my story of what I experienced the night that we found out Jeremy had died. I am not writing this from memory...shortly after all of this happened I had been up for close to a week and could not sleep. I decided to journal hoping that maybe it would relieve some of my grief and constant thoughts and worries. What you are about to read is what is in my Journal.

November 12th, 2010

Nothing is the same. Everything has changed. I will never be Sarah post November 9th, 2010 again.

November 9th started out like any regular day. I was frustrated with school, tired of working yet loving every second of my freedom. I had some hard times but I have amazing friends in my life to talk to and to hangout with. Honestly, I felt nothing wrong could happen.

Oh how I was wrong...

November 9th was a Tuesday. I had class like normal but of course procrastinated and had two 1000 word essays to write for my IST class. Later that night I asked my sister Jenny to help me finish one essay so that I could get done and hangout and watch Glee. For some reason that day I felt like I really wanted to hangout with Jenny and Vee. So I told Vee that I would be over later to watch Glee. Jenny started complaining that she really wanted to see me so I told her that she should come with me to Vee's house. She actually agreed to join and I was so happy! On the way there I told her that I thought Jeremy would already be there and that I thought, her and Jeremy would really get along! I was really excited :) When Jenny and I arrived it was about 8:30pm. Veronica almost right away mentioned that she hadn't heard from Jeremy. Of course we thought nothing of it, because in no way could anything happen to Jeremy. While watching Glee she was trying to text him. Then she decided to text Jon to see if he had heard from him. Because it was unusual that nobody had heard from him by this point. Time passed, I messaged him asking, "Where are you?" All the while joking that if he was okay we were going to hurt him for making us worry so much. More time passed and Jon decided he was just going to check on him. He picked up Mark and told Vee that they would let her know when they found him. More time passes and Jenny and I are about to leave the house...

Then we get the call...

Veronica picked up the phone and jumped up off the couch and screamed, "WHAT?!!? Jon, are you kidding?!! That is not funny, Jon!! Where are you?!" I was on my feet by now and was asking her what was going on. She was putting on shoes. I was putting on shoes asking Jennifer simultaneously if she would stay and watch the kids. She said, "Of course, Sarah!" I ran to find my coat and bumped into Faith who had woken up from the screaming. I said, "What's wrong baby?? Did you have a bad dream?" She said, No. Why is Mommy screaming?" I told her that to not worry about it and quickly tucked her back into bed.
The next thing I know we are in my car, pulling out of her driveway. I quickly stop at the first stop sign and then proceed to run the rest of them without stopping. Veronica is trying to get directions to the place in Holly. We end up on North I-75 where I find myself in a state of shock. Veronica was asking Jon, "Is he still breathing?!" I say, Oh God... Holding her hand I increase the speed of my car as she keeps asking questions and gets no answers...first 75mph then 85...95...110...130....flying down I-75 I pray to God to keep us safe and Jeremy. We meet the exit and the next thing I know we are pulling on to a dirt road following it along. As we get closer I see police lights, fire truck lights and ambulance lights, then Jon's truck. I drive til I see the first car. I stop and we speed out of the car and start running toward Jon...past officers. Jon grabs Vee and hugs her. A paramedic lady walks up to us and thoughtlessly says, He's already gone. He's been gone for a while. Veronica says, "What!? No this isn't happening!?! What?!

I turn around holding my head unable to process...

Still the reality (actually to this day for me) has not set in. They eventually bring Veronica and I into the ambulance. Veronica keeps asking if they are for sure he is gone...sobbing...I have no words...I hold her saying, "breathe Vee, just keep breathing"....The ambulance lady says, "Is there anyone you would like to call?" Vee said, "I am not going to call until we are sure!" Ambulance lady says, "Honey we are sure..." (stabbing pains begin) I grab my phone from my pocket and stare at it blankly, knowing I have no idea what to say, who to call, and what to do. Vee tells me to call Jodie, cause she will know what to do. And she did.


I am sobbing telling my parents, sobbing holding Veronica...sobbing because this could not be happening...this is a dream...I will wake up soon...but no.

We are all standing outside freezing...shaking from the cold and the shock when Veronica asks Mark to pray...He prays for us as I hold Veronica and lean on those close to me. Veronica keeps saying that she wants to see him. I did NOT. I felt so sick I almost threw up a couple of times... Next thing I know Veronica's parents arrive and then Jodie and Gary.

By the end of the night we are waiting for the coroner to get there to bring Jeremy's body from the woods. Veronica is shaking so hard I tell her we need to get into a car and warm up. We wrap her in a blanket and take off her shoes and hold her feet with our hands, attempting to warm them. From here somehow we convinced Veronica to not see Jeremy until he was cleaned up...(we still all regret this)


We are still sitting in Jodie's van waiting until the corner's car drives by with Jeremy's body. I look back to see a distant abyss of a body, with swollen, hopeless eyes where my friend Veronica once stood... We head back to Veronica's old house.

You see, everything changed on that day. Everyone connected to Jeremy was affected in good and bad ways. I subconsciously decided to live with Veronica and the kids...I don't regret I single decision I have made. Over this past year I have had more melt downs, more anxiety attacks, more worry, more reality checks than I have had my entire life. Watching as my friend broke again each day, waking up to a reality that was chosen for her and she had no control over.

I have questioned so many things...Why did it have to be Jeremy? Why did it have to be three months before Carter was born? Why so young? What was the point? Why didn't God stop this from happening?! I have tried bartering, praying, wishing that I could take his place so Veronica and her precious babies didn't have to go through this...

But in this unbearable, unknowingly difficult time I have learned more about myself, my relationships, and God that I could learn in a lifetime. People from everywhere and (I do mean EVERYWHERE) have donated money, given gifts, sent up COUNTLESS prayers for Vee and the kids since this all happened. I can't express the gratitude that I have for God helping me see the hearts of so many people around me that stepped up and continue to do so to each day for the Kings.

I don't know all of the answers. I still question why God did not stop this but through all of this I never ONCE questioned if God was present. I swear to you that everything I said to people the first 2 months were not my own words, they were not my actions. It was as if God was showing me exactly how to be, what to ask, when to be quiet, when to say something and what to do.

After going through this...(and it is not yet over), I still know that GOD IS GOOD. ALL THE TIME!

Jeremy, I miss you. I miss our petty arguments. I miss your big heart that you couldn't really hide from anyone. I miss seeing you and Veronica together. I miss seeing you interact with the kids. If I could do anything or give anything to bring you back I would. I can't wait to see you again. I want a big hug! Not a side hug like you used to give me ;) I promised Veronica that I would see to it that YOU were the first one she would see in heaven. I am going to play defense as she runs towards you. When I get to see your reunion I will cry...(screw the no tears in heaven bit!)

For now...we must wait.
Continue to watch over us. 
And I will see you soon friend. 
Love you.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Recently I was talking with some friends about how I always attract the people who tell me their life stories when I am out in public. Or the people who tell me the most random intimate things about themselves and ask me for advice or just to listen. 
I am not going to say that I hate that this happens. I love helping people when I can. Something is hardwired in me to want to fix things that are broken and I believe God calls us to serve others. But it can be draining especially when my brain is telling me that there are more important things than me and I should do something to help. 
Tonight I am reminded of how little energy I have left...I just want to take a second to breathe and vent. I want people to ask about how my day went? Or just acknowledge that I may want to talk about something in my life... I need accountability. I need someone that really cares about me and who I am and MY stupid, nonsense, stressful things in my life, even if they in no way can relate to them. One of my best friends said this quote to me recently and checks and makes sure that I am say it to myself. 

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I need to do better and start thinking more highly of myself...I have never been good at it.

I do have a couple of friends that write me randomly and I cannot express how appreciative I am to have them. And I don't want or expect this post to change anything about people using me to help them because that is who I am. I just needed to say it. Overall, I am richly blessed beyond what I could ever imagine or deserve.
Tonight is just...a weak night.

"Rest but never quit. Even the sun has a sinking spell each evening. But it always rises the next morning. At sunrise, every soul is born again."  ~Unknown Author

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Myrtle Beach Vacation 2011

I would like to share some pictures of my family's vacation to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in 2011!

 Jamie's 12th Birthday...we went to lunch, shopped, 
then attended Pirates Voyage Dinner Theater!

Julia was trying to show me that she could be a Pirate ;)

This was taken on Sister's day :)

 We finally got to go to Ripley's Aquarium for Jennifer's 24th Birthday!


 Hehe :)



 These two pictures are my favorite ones that I took on vacation this year.

Last night on the Beach...