Friday, December 7, 2012

Drawing to a close...

Not only is the year 2012 drawing to a close, but for me personally my first year of college is just about over. Scoping out the past year:

~ the Lord by my side, through thick and thin ~
~ the opportunity to attend a local college ~
~ the blessing of new friends ~
~the vast amount of knowledge that has been revealed to me, much of which will benefit future classes and Lord willing, my future job ~
~ the ever-present reminder in Biology class of how fearfully and wonderfully we are made ~

Studying for upcoming exams are calling!


Coming Soon: 52 Weeks of Psalms

I am planning on joining my friend Melinda on this journey of studying the Psalms throughout 2013.

When: Starting the first week of January, then followed through weekly

What: Studying a new Psalm and expounding on each week, and memorizing the key verses of the passage

Where: Hosted by my friend Melinda

Feel free to join us! Check out Melinda's site for the instructions!

Weekly Schedule

Study Tips
Memory Verses


Monday, November 26, 2012


I have to admit that about 1 hour ago I not so enthusiastic about my evening. Rather, I was extremely tired with a pounding headache and a mountain of studying to do for an upcoming Biology test. Could it get worse? Yes, it probably could, depending on my attitude. But it didn't! I took a moment to step out into the crisp, fall night and it's amazing what cold air can do for a person.

As I stood outside gazing into the heavens with its bright moon in a cloud-filled night, I thought of the beauty of the night. And as I continued to gaze into the night, something washed over me and I began to think of how blessed I am!

  • Sight to see the beauty of the night
  • Hearing to hear the sounds of the peaceful night or the music playing softly in the background
  • Education and continuing education as God has allowed
  • Warmth of a home, to escape from the cold night
  • Water to refresh my physical body and the Word of God to refresh my spiritual being
  • Fearfully and wonderfully made
  • Healthy and alive to serve my Lord and be a witness of His Great Love
I can't even begin to make a dent into all the wonderful blessings that the Lord has bestowed upon my life. I was reminded tonight as I stopped to take a moment to count my blessings, I reflected on the promise that "He knows just what I need" 
Amidst the burden of the moment, He prompted me to look heavenward! He is always on time! I am blessed beyond human comprehension. Words cannot begin to even number my blessings!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Little Love

I decided to post a link to a challenging post that I read today. I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me.

A Little Love
There is little so daunting as being a Stranger in a strange place. That's what I decided one day in mid-December as I sat in the sun with bare feet and looked across the wide, wide open space of the San Luis Valley.
For almost as long as I could remember, my Christmases were always white, and our days were filled with family and friends-as-close as family, caroling and warm, crackling fires on long Alaskan evenings. There were little traditions and good natured family banter. It was a happy time, but this year? None of that was going to happen.

A note from me: The Baby that came to earth loved us with an unconditional love, a love that He commands us to share with our neighbors and even enemies. Christmas is not just the time to share this love, but we are to live it out in our daily lives. I personally want to strive to be more loving not only this Christmas season, but each and every day. We have a reason to share this love. We were loved with an unconditional love.

I pray that when the Lord sends an opportunity my way, my eyes would be opened and I would see it as an opportunity to share and not as an inconvenience. Christ does not see us as an inconvenience, but as an eternal soul that needs love and a Savior.

Blessings to all in this Christmas season!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Day 15 of GreaThings

Wishing a blessed Thanksgiving to you all! I know I will be thinking on the many blessings that are showered upon me this year. I know, way too often I take things for granted. Just tonight I read a post by a fellow blogger, who took time to post a video about poverty in other countries. We, as nation are truly blessed beyond comprehension. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all! May the Lord be with you! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Inspired by whom...

Day 14 of GreaThings

The life of Paul...a man that before His conversion, persecuted many Christians. Following his conversion, he endured much heartache and many trials, including being persecuted. Yet amidst this he reminded us that he had learned that in whatsoever state he was, therewith to be content. (Phil 4.11) He continuously challenges me to be content with my lot in life, whether it is at work, or at home, or at school, or just wherever. We find that Paul rejoiced no matter his lot. Definitely has been a challenge for me.

Other Christians in the health field...I had the opportunity to spend a weekend with a large group of Christian  healthcare professionals. We spent the weekend studying God's word together, talked about experiences that only health professionals laugh, compared our trials and blessings of our jobs. For me, as a nursing student, it was a great opportunity to fellowship with other Christians and bless and be blessed!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Catch up...

It would have appeared that this dear college student has gone MIA in  relation to GreaThings 2012. Yes, I haven't posted for 5 I will catch them up today without letting my post get too long.

Day 9: Difficult Experiences...the experience that was the biggest difficulty for me this past year was moving back to USA. I had spent the past two years living in Nicaragua, CA and I had made the decision to return to my home state at the end of my two-year commitment. After living two years in a new place, I had felt if I was was feeling comfortable with my surroundings and my accomplishment of the Spanish language (no, it wasn't perfect, but I could comfortably hold a conversation and learn new things at the same time). Moving back threw me into another culture shock, even though I was going to my home. This past year has brought me through many events and experiences that took extra grace as I tried to adjust to being home, living with my family instead of by myself, spending time with a youth group that had drastically changed in two years...But praise the Lord, He is faithful and always was by my side to give me extra strength for the moment.

Day 10: "I" is for...Inspirations...I just love the moments when I am doing school work or reading a book and I have an inspiration to do a random thing. It is amazing how that random thing can just add a boost to my day. Most times it isn't anything huge...something as simple as going for a walk, taking a moment to pat the cat or hold the puppies, or maybe to lay on the floor and play house with my siblings. It also can be taking the opportunity to bless another one's day by a text, an email, a card....

Day 11: New Experiences to learn from...for me, it was stepping into the local community college as a student. The first step was the scariest, but it is hard to believe that a year has passed since I first stepped in the door at Harrisburg Area Community College. I have made so many new friends and have learned so many things from my studies, but I also have been strengthened in my Christian life. As I began attending classes there, I was challenged to look at my life and evaluate to verify that "my talk" matched "my walk". Each semester brings another new experience and continuously I need to stop and look at my life and make sure that I am where God wants me.

Day 12: Three New Things that I have learned....I hope no one minds, but I am gonna bring in some of my Biology lessons. Did you know....

  • A single drop of blood contains more than 250 million blood cells
  • Humans actually have 5 different tastes on their tongue: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami
  • Humans can distinguish approximately 10,000 odors
Day 13: "G" is for....great friends! My many great friends have stood by me this year and laughed and cried with me. Sometime we didn't always agree about matters, but we cared enough to believe in each other.

Well, I believe this has gotten long enough :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

"H" is for....

Day 8 of GreaThings, a day late. Some days this college student just doesn't reach around.

As I continue to pass the days, whether at work, at school, at home, at church, the thought is always in my mind of heaven. At times when the nature around me seems so beautiful, I just stop and wonder and imagine how much more beautiful heaven is. The beauty around us cannot even begin to emphasize the beauty that awaits. 

When I think of heaven, it thrills me to think that some day, I will be home eternally. The song below, sung by The Esh Family, often comes to mind when I think of Heaven and the Eternal Home that awaits me and all the others that are fully surrendered to Christ and His commandments.

The thought of seeing my Lord, with the nail-scarred hands, who die so that I might live. The thought of that just overwhelms me and fills me with a desire to be wholly committed to Him. I also think of all the Christians that have gone before and the glory of being gathered together around the throne, praising our Lord. 

Heaven...Oh, it makes me feel like traveling!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"T" is for...

Day 7 of GreaThings
The ladies from church have a mother-daughter tea once a year. It was a wonderful time to get together as women and enjoy each other's company and listen to a sister share the blessings that God laid on her heart. It is always fun to see all the cute dainty tea things that each different lady brings along.

At one time, thunderstorms were not my favorite thing. However thunderstorms were a common occurrence 6 months out of a year in Central America. With all the thunderstorms, also came the possibility of losing electricity in our homes, so I gained a new appreciation for thunderstorms. This past year we had so many storms in my home area and I just loved to sit on the porch and watch the lightning and listen to the thunder.

This is just another brief look at my many blessings!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lyrics that have been a blessing...

Day 6 of GreaThings

All I Need
1. Jesus Christ is made to me, 
All I need, All I need,
He alone, is all my plea, 
He is all I need.

Wisdom, righteousness, and pow'r,
Holiness for evermore,
My redemption full and sure,
He is all I need.

2. He redeemed me when He died,
All I need, All I need,
I with Him was crucified, 
He is all I need.

3. To my Savior will I cleave,
All I need, All I need,
He will not His Servant leave,
He is all I need.

4. He's the treasure of my soul,
All I need, all I need,
He hath cleansed and made me whole,
He is all I need.

HE IS ALL I NEED! Praise the Lord!

Answered Prayers....

Day 5 of GreaThings, also a day late

Answered mind seemed to stop. At first thought, my past year didn't seem to bring any mountain-moving answers to prayer or miracles. However as a daughter of the King, I knew that it was not true.

The most important one that came for me was searching for God's will as I returned from 2yrs of VS work in Nicaragua. What would God have me do? Where should I go from here? Why was I called home from the place that I had come to love: a place that had so much beauty among destitution and poverty.
Or  called away from those children and adults that had overtaken my heart and held some of the many strong ties: the ones that I cried with when they loss a loved one or were suffering physically, the ones I laughed with as we cooked over open fires.
Why, oh why couldn't I stay?

But God had other plans in mind for me...I returned to the US, and started back at my previous job, where currently I still work. However in the early fall of 2011, I applied at the local community college. I was accepted and in January of 2012, I begin my General Ed classes for an Associate's Degree in Nursing. It was a dream come true and an answer to prayer about what He would have me do. I have have found so much blessing in this one answered prayer, that I can only begin to imagine about the others. 

I have made so many new friends, since I started attending college. Some of them have strengthened my Christian walk, causing me to see areas that need some brushing up. He knew just were to place me in this time of my life. How marvelous a God we serve!

I know that this is just one answered prayer, but God is faithful and neither words nor pages suffice to tell all His blessings.

Monday, November 12, 2012

"E" is for....

Day 4 of GreaThings, a day late!
Every evening displays its beauty in a different way. Each sunset is unique in its own way. I just love the chance to photograph the evening sky, though it hasn't happened too recently, due to school priorities. Evenings remind me of how different each of us are and how at the end of our life, our life's story will be unique. It challenges me to live my life, so that it reflects the beauty of my Savior.

Encuentro de Jovenes...
"Encuentro de Jovenes" is Spanish for a youth meeting. I was privileged to have the opportunity to fly back to Nicaragua for a week to take part in a Spanish Bible School. The blessing of going back to my "second" home, spending time with my friends, studying God's Word together.

I know they probably do not look to be the healthiest food (and probably aren't since Nicaraguans cook with oil, like Americans use water), but they were so good. I have attempted to make them several times(with a little less oil), but the natives can make them so much better.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Scriptural Blessings

Technically Day 3 of GreaThings is a day late. I currently work as a sales associate at a furniture store. I planned to take time to update the blog last night, however I came home to find that we had no internet access. So no blog was written and online college homework could not be completed...I will admit that I was a little worried about my homework and meeting the deadline. 

However I was reminded of 1 Peter 5.7: "Casting all you care upon him; for he careth for you." Even though it seemed like I might not be able to submit homework in time, God still cared about the smallest detail and we regained internet access today at noon. 

Another favorite of mine is 2 Chronicles 7.14: "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." I constantly remind myself of this verse and routinely stick my name in there to make it even more personal. We serve a loving God, who cares about each one of us-enough to want to forgive us and heal us, if only we ask. 

There are so many blessings in God's Word, that I cannot even begin to name them all! Blessings to each one!

Friday, November 9, 2012

The "R" Blessings

I stopped to think of the "R" blessings, and the first one that came to mind was that of our redemption. 

Without Christ coming to redeem me and forgive my sins, I would be a poor lost sinner. He is the reason I am alive and singing today. Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for each of us and redeeming us from our awful life of sin

Being the college student that I am, rest has become a valuable part of my life. In order to be effective and receive all out of a class, I realized the need for rest. Be properly rested has made many a day much easier to go through. Whether rest is physical rest as in sleep, or mental rest as in a vacation, both have done wonders for me a college student. 
Just taking the afternoon to sit by the lake, see the clouds float by, talk to friends, catch up on the lives of others: all have a way of refreshing and relaxing the weary one.

As a future nursing student and a sibling to a brother with a genetic disorder, I am once again reminded of the blessing that we have as a nation in regards to research. 
Had it not been for medical research, all of these people would probably not have been around to for this picture. Suffering from MSUD, some of these children or adults would have been severely damaged or crippled; many would have possibly died. After spending 2 days surrounded by all these young people and listening to doctors discuss new research, I was thankful  and blessed to be surrounded by research and doctors willing to learn.

These are just some of the many blessings God has showered upon my life!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Great memories and moments!

Wow! Today is the kick-off of GreaThings 2012! I am looking forward to being blessed and blessing others as well.

To start of my collection of great moments and memories:

  1. January brought forth a new experience for me; that known as college life. With much apprehension, I stepped into my first day, but time has just flown by. No, college life has not been all roses; it has had its thorns, but it has become one of my most enjoyed moments of my daily routine. Each day is filled with many new concepts and new information. My favorite classes have become my Biology classes. Not one day in classes passes by without reminding me to "parise thee; for i am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well" Psalm 139.14
  2. Flying out west to spend time with a dear friend, taking time to tour her home area, just have time as friends. Spent 4 days with her, took the opportunity to quilt a king-size quilt for her future home. Then spending time with her and her boyfriend when they came into the area for a weekend many memories.
  3. New friends, youth, local coffee shop owners, study buddies. Friends near, friends far, friends dear...the list goes on and on. I am blessed to have so many friends that surround me and left me up when the going gets tough, who laugh with me and cry with me. 
Just sitting down to write this has made me stop and realize how blessed I am.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

GreaThings Info

One thing that I have come to enjoy about Facebook, is finding so many blogs out there that are dedicated to the inspiration of the Christian. Just this week I became aware of GreaThings. Started in 2007, it has become a tradition that happens each November for two weeks before Thanksgiving. Starting November 8th through November 22nd, I have decided to give it a whirl. For any of you who would like to know more about this challenge, check out  Great Things and Great Things 2012 Schedule.

Each day I will add the new post to the list below!

GreaThings 2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012

My hearts cries

Oh, how I miss all these little ones! The Lord only knows where they are tonight! I was reminded of a song...

He was 10 years old when his parents separated and left him in the cold. Walking the streets all alone, he had no place to call his home.Many tears he cried at night, trying to make it on his own.

What about the children all around the world, whose hearts are broken by mean words spoken? What about the children, who were searching for love? God loves His children, as His tears fall from above.

She had big blue eyes, but a broken spirit. She was sick of listening to all the lies. She ran away at 15, far from home. This was a cool place when you are alone. Many tears she cried at night, wishing that she wasn't alone.

What about the children all around the world, whose hearts are broken by mean words spoken? What about the children, who were searching for love? God loves His children, as His tears fall from above.

When it's raining, think about the children!

After spending 2 years with these little ones, they all will have special places in my heart. Thinking about them and praying for them that God will grant protection and safety to them.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Busy Summer....

 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Matthew 24:27

Hello to you all,
I know it has been so long since many of you have heard from me. If I am correct, the last one you all received was in May. Oh how time has flown since then. But in all honesty, I have had a great summer, God has been good, and I am blessed (some things that I am reminded of from day to day). 
My summer took off in a running start. I finished Math and English classes in May 9th, giving a few weeks break before Christine Weaver and I flew to Missouri to visit Audrey. It had been a trip long talked about and became one long-awaited for. We flew out of Philadelphia, Friday June 1st at 5.55am and arrived in Columbia, MO at 10.05am. It was great to see a familiar face waiting for us there. The time we spent with her flew by. She had put a lovely quilt into a frame, so we helped her quilt it. The quilt was jungle-themed and her borders colors looked great. I hadn’t quilted in so long, but we had (at least I did) some awesome time and fun around this quilt. It appeared to be a king-size quilt and we had it nearly done till we left on Tuesday, June 5th. Audrey did text me that night or the next day and tell me that she had finished quilting it. We spent Saturday afternoon doing some sightseeing and seeing some beautiful areas of Missouri and surrounding areas. We drove to Cantril, IA and Memphis, MO. The time by the lake was so peaceful and relaxing. To top of the day, we went to Colton’s Steak House and Grill. Absolutely loved the place! Sunday we spent some time with folks from Cornerstone. If I remember correctly, we went to Javin and Sheila Martin’s for lunch, spent the afternoon strolling through a nearby cemetery, and then spent the evening hanging out with the youth at a pond. It was so great to spend time with Audrey and Christine

 During my short summer break, I offered to take my three youngest siblings away for a fun day. We started a little early for little children, but we had a great day. We started the day out at 7.30am at Verdant View Farm. We did a farm tour, where they could try to milk a cow, bottle-feed a calf and many other farm many other fun things. From there, we went to the Railroad Museum, which they all enjoyed very much. Miranda was awe-struck when she saw all the “big” trains. In taking the one picture of her beside the train, I did not realize how big it was until I actually looked at it later on my computer. From the Railroad museum, we then finished out our day at the Choo-Choo Barn, which I believe was the highlight of their day. Till we headed home, we had some little people that were very sleepy, some of which fell asleep as we drove home.

 This summer, my sister and I taught the nursery summer Bible School class. Most of the young children I had in my Bible School Class are the same children that I have in my Sunday morning class. All of the little ones look forward to the final night, so they can each have their helium-filled balloon to let loose in the sky with a precious Gospel message attached to it. I really enjoy teaching these precious little bundles, but I realized that I can not do everything, especially now with school and work. I decided that I will say “no” for the next Sunday School year and allow someone else to influence these precious bundles. I know one little person that will not be totally impressed-my sister Miranda. She thinks it is jut the coolest thing to have her sister teach her class
 This summer our family had several medical related issues; 3 to be exact. The first one was when Miranda fell off the gator and broke her collar bone. She was in a brace for 4 weeks. About a week after she broke her collar bone, Wesley burnt his arm while helping Jordan’s boss with some clean-up. Wesley had been doing yard work for Jordan’s boss and a pole barn crew was there building a new pole. In doing some clean-up that night, one of the fellows threw an aerosol can on the fire and Wesley did not know that. He took some trash to the fire and had just turned, when the can flashed, resulting in 2nd and 3rd degree burns (3rd degree are the little white spots on the picture to the right in the center row) We took him to a Joe Wenger lady in Frysville that had been trained to treat burns with B & W ointment and burdock leaves. Within a week, the burnt skin was off and was pink underneath. Within a month after this happened, he had no scars and you barely could tell that he had been burnt. The final medical issue occurred to my dad. He twisted his knee while on the roof and tore cartilage in his knee. He had to have surgery and was off work for a week. Mom says that’s enough now
 Our family had the opportunity to do an old-fashioned scrapple making demonstration at Shirktown Threshing. The whole family thoroughly enjoyed the day making scrapple, seeing the old tractors and many other things. We had a constant flow of people all day and had only 6 pans of scrapple left from the 80 we made. It was definitely different to make scrapple in the middle of the summer, but we had so much fun. It is awesome to be able to work together as a family and just have a great time together. We all unanimously agreed that scrapple tastes better cooked over a wood fire!
 God has brought a new opportunity to me in relation to nursing field. I have been asked to provide night care for an older woman who has a brain tumor and has been given approximately 6 months to live. I have agreed to do 2 twelve-hour night shifts for the family. The shift is from 8pm to 8am on Sunday nights and Tuesday nights. This will provide several opportunities for me: quiet study time, experience taking care of cancer patient, amidst various other things.

My fall classes start Monday, August 20th and I am looking forward to them. I do really enjoy studying and I am always am glad for a break, but I do miss it while I have breaks.

I thought it was high time to keep you all informed!

Have a great day in the Lord!

Serving a risen Savior, AJ

Friday, May 25, 2012

Overdue News!

Hello to all of you! Time has sped by and it has been several months since many have heard from me. I must admit that it has been way too long, so I decided to attempt to get one out this week. 

God truly has been good and I felt the prayers of many as I started my first semester of college. As I began to study, I realized how much I did enjoy studying. Both classes went fairly well and I felt that I was able to adjust quite well to a school schedule. Of course, night school did cut out some family time, but my family was understanding(even the brothers, that were always telling me that they did all the work while I sat on my computer). I am officially finished with the Spring semester and have a month break before I start on Summer classes. 

My father and brothers have been doing some work around our home. I don't recall when the siding was replaced(while I lived in Nicaragua or when??) They just recently bought stone for the front of the house. They spent several evenings laying the stone. It looks so nice and I can hardly remember what it originally looked like. He also bought pavers and laid them on the floor of the side porch. In the near future, we are planning to add a piece on. The house is just getting smaller with all the bigger children.

I plan to fly to Missouri next weekend to visit my friend Audrey. She moved out there with her sister last fall and has been enjoying it very much. I also plan to teach VBS this summer with my sister, Wendy. June 18th, I start my summer classes and they go until August 9th. I have a week and half break before I then start my fall classes. I am hoping to start as a Patient Care Assist this fall as well to get me into the hospital and get some experience.

We have sold all out little puppies. They were so cute, but were getting bigger and naughtier :)

We had a mother/daughter tea at church with a gorgeous, yummy fruit basket and rice & beans for the hot food. The ladies on the committee asked the Guatemelan lady, Miriam to make a meal. I was in my glory!

We as young people are headed to the cabin this weekend. Well actually the rest of the youth are already there. My sister had to work till 9pm so we are leaving as soon as she gets home. It is about 2-1/2 hrs drive, so I have a long night ahead of me. I have begun to drink my coffee, because I know she is tired from working almost 10hrs today in receiving (she works at Weaver's store in Fivepointville and they received a large shipment today)

I would love to hear from some of you when you have a spare moment!
Blessings to you all!