looking out the window

“We take expressways because we fear the cities and the poverty there” – Robert L. Green, author of The Urban Challenge: Poverty and Race

I’m still not a fan of downtown Columbus. There is this crazy irrational fear, even though it is not justified at all. The homes by Cooper Stadium always looked scary when I was a kid. That mission trip to the Short North was a huge step out of my comfort zone. And it was 30 minutes from my house.

How many people have I walked by who are living in poverty while going to Tree every day? How many people could I have helped? How many times did I focus my attention inside the car and never look to the world outside that was and is hurting so badly?

I was so used to Ohio. I thought everyone kind of lived like I did.

In Venezuela, I couldn’t stop looking out the window. The scenery was different. And the people were so different. I couldn’t help seeing everything; the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Every trip since then, I have continued to stare out the window. There is so much to see, so much to experience, and so many people that need help.

This urban poverty research is starting to get to me. It has ceased being a project and has me seriously thinking. Yeah, I’m a college student, but I can do something, can’t I?

I’m not taking the expressways. I’m looking out the window. Always.



That’s it, I’m officially going to Africa. Zambia, specifically. For three months. God is so good, as are the people at IWU that are giving me this incredible opportunity.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think of going to Africa for extended periods of time. But God’s plans are always bigger than my own, and I have found, over the past month especially, that I do have a heart for this place. God has given me a heart for Africa, he has opened so many doors, and pushed me in so many directions. He has provided the resources for me to go, and taught me to be content when things were up in the air.

I’m so ready. Let’s go. I’m loving life, loving people, and loving Africa.


thank you, bethel

The hospitality I experienced this weekend was more than I could ever ask for. I traveled up to bethel to see the EM people and make frybread for my boys.

It was better than I expected. There’s a sense of community at bethel that I’ve never seen before, even at iwu. And I got to be a part of it. Yon and Chris and Justine and everyone else welcomed me with open arms and were the perfect hosts.

It was so good to be with them again, to share Arizona stories and know that they understand who I am and what God did in each of us this summer. They’re like family. They’re just great.

So thank you, you three. And thank you bethel, for teaching me things I won’t ever forget, about community, about really sharing life together, and about how to have fun!


eggs benedict

“…but you, you knew the real me. I didn’t. Benedict. I love eggs benedict. I hate all the other kinds of eggs. If I ride off into the sunset, I want my own horse.” – Runaway Bride

It took Julia Roberts four weddings that she ran away from to learn who she really was. And that’s what it was about, learning the real her, and not becoming who any of the men wanted her to be.

Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to run away from four weddings. After 21 years, I thought I had a fairly good grasp on myself. And then this summer hit, and God stretched me and made me give up all my ideas of home, and love and servanthood. And he showed me who I am in Him.

And now, as I was talking about different aspects of life today with Sara Lynn, I realized that I am perfectly content today with who God has made me to be. I know what I like. I know some of the desires God has given me. And I want to walk confident in that fact.

So whoever comes along is going to have to deal with the fact that I love to travel, that my heart lies with those in other cultures, that I love to cook, that I love my family, that God is number one, and that I am willing to go wherever He takes me.

If I ride off into the sunset, I may very well want my own horse.


lessons from the bungalow

- Only most people think you’re a creep for butchering a sheep. Some of your best friends want to hear all about your crazy experiences.
- I still love cooking for others, and I make way too much for 5 people.
- Sarah Black is the most patient person I know.
- Alyson comes up with the best stories, and can make me laugh the same way Stephen can make me laugh.
- Coffee and tea overflow.
- People in Indiana and people in Arizona really aren’t that different.
- I live with 5 very brave girls.
- Even in the summer, Indiana is too cold and our house is always freezing.
- I miss Arizona.
- It takes God to get me up in the morning.
- Life is good, but my heart always hurts.
- I love our front porch, the kitchen, and the girls that occupy the living room.

I’m trying harder every day to get used to the fact that I’m finally here, in my last semester of college, living with these people one last time. I don’t want to miss it. I want to spend as much time with them as possible. These girls mean the world to me. They challenge me and they listen to me. There are days when I wonder why they love me. But God bless them, they’re the best.