Saturday, February 12, 2011

we've got some catching up to do...

I’m finally posting something. After countless occasions of friends and family hounding me, I am finally writing something. To be honest with you, I probably have four or fine different entries saved on my computer that are incomplete simply because there is so much going on here. So, here is a quick recap of my time here since....November 7, 2010....

November was a month full of snow, hot cocoa, and some Christmas cheer! It was so enchanting to be in the castle, with a fire in the fireplace, a brightly trimmed Christmas tree, and a mix of 16 nationalities celebrating the season of love. We sang carols often, and had a massive “playing in the snow” event during the first snow fall. We also had a splendid Thanksgiving, which the Capernwray staff put on just for the Americans. We had a full feast and we ended the night with a massive game of capture the flag (Pilgrims vs. the Indians). It was a very different Thanksgiving, but it is definitely one I will always remember.

December took me home for three weeks. Although being away from my Capernwray family was quite strange, I was overjoyed to see the familiar faces of Waukesha, Wisconsin. I spent such wonderful time with my family and I made new cherish-able memories with my dear friends. For those of you reading this, thank you so much for your love and company! I said goodbye with tears, knowing that I would not be home for five and a half months....

When I arrived back in England in early January, the second winter term began. This brought new roommates, which God greatly blessed me with yet again. I have a lovely room in the castle with a large window framed with purple curtains and a tall, white ceiling. There are five of us living there: two Americans, two Canadians, and one German. The constant sound of laughter and dance parties coming from our room is proof that we get along quite well. I am so grateful for them!

So, I have been here for about four months, and I have built such precious friendships. But just recently did I look at a calendar and realize that over half of those people I will never see again in five weeks. Most of the students are not staying here in England for spring school, which means that every second with every person here, I am holding so close to my heart. God has demonstrated such love through the people here, and I have learned the importance of Christian friendship. I am not just friends with these people, but I am growing with them. I am walking with them and learning to glorify God as we walk. It is such a beautiful thing, and I thank God for pouring such wonderful blessings upon me.

Home seems so far away, but I’m beginning to see the entire world as a place to call home...

Talk to you soon, friends!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

edinburgh, scotland

Halloween in Edinburgh, Scotland was definitely an unforgettable experience. Said to be one of the most haunted cities in the world, Edinburgh was full of culture all weekend long. My weekend began with a visit to the old Edinburgh Castle. Inside were many canons, armors, swords, and dungeons. Later in the day, I visited the Elephant House, the famous cafe where J.K. Rowling wrote the first books of the “Harry Potter” series. There I enjoyed a delicious Italian hot chocolate smothered in pink marshmallows and whipped cream. The following day, I climbed up the tallest hill in the area with a large group of my friends from Capernwray. Although the hike was long, and although I was not wearing the proper footwear, the climb was beyond worth it. The view was incredible, and the weather was good to us, giving us blue skies and a slight breeze. That night was Halloween night and we walked the town and admired the fun, and quite interesting, costumes of the locals. An annual zombie walk, which takes place in a different city in the UK every year, was held in Edinburgh this year. We were pleasantly surprised to see a hundred or so zombies walking the streets. It was overall a very enjoyable weekend, but I was happy to be back at my dear Capernwray.

Monday, October 25, 2010

the candle.

morcambe bay, england

Life is a mystery. The unknown is deeper than the ocean. We are in complete wonder of the life ahead of us. In fact, we don’t even know what will happen 5, 10, 15 minutes from now. Life can even change in a second. But the mystery of life is something we have to learn to deal with. We must learn to face it straight on and learn from each moment that is revealed. And to face mystery is one of the most terrifying things. It’s as though you open a door into a dark room, and you must shut the door behind you. You have no clue what you are facing in that room. It’s horrifying. But in this dark room, in the corner against the wall, a small candle ignites, and a flame begins to flicker in the darkness. At first the flame is barely there, holding on during the sudden breezes gusting in through the window. You cringe as you watch the flame struggle to stay lit. But it endures. It stays alive. And each time it braves the storm, it becomes brighter. You are still sitting there, watching all this happen. Watching the candle struggle and then gain strength. You notice that as the candle does this, the room becomes more and more lit up. First only the slightest amount, but now you begin to feel safe again. You are comforted by the fact that you can see again. After what seems like no time at all, you realize you are sitting in a bright room, with a vibrant smile on your face. The candle is burning strong. You raise to your feet and as you turn to leave the room, a sign on the door reads, “The Lord has fought for you; you needed only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14). You smile even brighter, open the door, and receive your first glimpse. The moment you have been waiting for, the thing you have wanted the most, you are now receiving. It was worth it.

The Lord is fighting for you. He is protecting that candle, your light of hope, as each storm hits and as each day passes. He knows you are worrying. He knows you are struggling. He knows your heart better than anyone else does. He understands, and He is taking care of everything. He drew you into that room for a reason, and because He knew it would be dark, He was that candle for you. Whatever you are going through, whatever you are worrying about, and whatever you are waiting for, God knows. He is protecting your candle and He is fighting for you. So, be still. The time, His time, will come.

Friday, October 22, 2010

give up your books.

the lake district, england

the lake district, england

blank page. a solid line of black flashes as it stands waiting for you to type something. you think. usually people write what they think, so how come you aren’t writing anything? blank page must mean blank mind. but your mind is far from blank. you have a million thoughts running through it. why is nothing on the page, then? why is it so hard to write what you feel? i’ll tell you are afraid. you’re afraid to write your thoughts down because you know once you write them down, you have to face them. you have to look at the words. and they become real. they become more than random thoughts floating around in your head. fantasy becomes reality. the unreal becomes real. we don’t have to look at our thoughts, but we do have to look at the words we write. but in all of this, transferring your thoughts into words on a white page fills that page with color. good or bad, beautiful or ugly, they color the page. bright yellow spatters over the page as you write about the happiest thing that happened to you today. pink swirls start appearing as the words of your loved ones come up. black dark spots appear as you reflect on the worst part of your day. good or bad, it’s all color. and this color brings the blank white page to life. when I was deciding on a title for my blog, “putting print on blank pages” seemed perfectly appropriate. God gave me a big, heavy book. It opens with June 6, 1992, the day I was born, and ever since then, God’s been filling it with experiences and milestones that make me who I am today, on the page of my 18th year. But God is going to finish this book. He will fill the blank, white pages with vibrant, and sometimes dull, colors of my life. Sometimes, I will admit, I want to take this book myself and fill it with my own colors. I am selfish and I sometimes believe that I can write this book better than God can. But I find as I turn the page at the end of the day, that I am not satisfied with my work, in fact, I hate it. So the next morning, I wake up, and I take the book in my hands, and simply hand it up to the Lord. You see, we are a selfish human world. We want to do things ourselves and we hate being told how to live our lives. But God doesn’t want to live our lives for us, He wants us to live our lives for Him. He wants us to trust Him, and let Him do the work. We just get to sit back, give everything over to Him, and obey as He opens each door for us to walk through. Often times, we try to break in through the window instead of patiently waiting for God to open the door for us. We need patience. And sometimes, God will crack open the door ever so slightly, and He gives us a hint into the things we are about to receive, but we must wait. We must not try to push the door open anymore than it is already open. God is behind it, waiting until He is ready to open it for us. So I say to you, give up your books, and wait patiently outside the door. The time will come, and the pages will fill with vibrant, beautiful colors.

Monday, October 18, 2010


morcambe bay, england

how does one go about knowing the meaning of love before they themselves experience it? how is it that we go for so long not knowing, yet think we do? in reality, love is something none of us will ever be able to fathom. we love our mothers and our fathers, we love our friends, and we love our spouses and children. but this love is only human love. when are we ever able to understand the ultimate love? God’s love. the love that includes Him dying for us. when will we ever completely understand His unconditional love for us? my answer?...never. at least not until we meet Him face to face and we are able to see His love for us in His eyes. that’s when we’ll know. without a doubt in the world. to see it in His eyes will be to actually understand love. to understand love as it states in 1 corinthians 13. “Love is patient, love is kind. it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. love never fails.” you see, only God has the ultimate love. only His love is flawless and perfect.

Sunday, October 10, 2010



me with kaiya, one of my roommates

Also this week, my roommate Kaiya and I took time to sit and talk about things that we have been struggling with. At the end of our discussion, we both agreed to hold each other accountable and pray for one another, as we are both seeking guidance and strength from the Lord. Since I need more patience with God in my life, I wrote the word “patience” on my wrist. I see it randomly throughout the day and it is a reminder of the patience I must have with my future and the events to happen in my life.

learning is the essence of life

my tree again.

Kaiya, Me, Bre, and Katherine.

reading my Bible by the pond.

Learning is the essence of life. Without it, we do not become the people in which we are supposed to be. Through every stage of life, there is learning, and this learning brings on the next stage of life. Those who do not learn, will only be as a broken record, repeating the same things over and over again. The Lord teaches us some of the most valuable lessons in life. Although we learn lots from our peers and from our families, we learn the most important, most life changing things, from the Lord. Except these lessons require one thing: an open heart. Without this openness, our human hearts are closed doors, not willing to open for the lessons God is trying to give us. This is what I’ve learned this week...that an open heart means more lessons learned. A willingness to except that we are wrong, even when times aren’t troubling. It’s easy to go to the Lord when you are desperate. It’s easy to do anything when you are desperate. But going to Lord on any other day for the small things in life, makes all the difference. This week, when I had fully opened my heart, the Lord revealed great things to me. People that I have been praying for for months, even years, found hope and a second chance. And someone I love the most was saved from the thing that worries me the most. God is in every bit and piece of our lives and He is so in love with us that He wants us to see Him. He wants us aware of His love and compassion for us. So, I challenge you this week. Open up. Open up to what God wants to show you because, I promise, it’s worth it.

My experience at Capernwray thus far has been greater than I hoped for. My roommates and I have already grown so close and we feel as though we’ve known each other for years. Last night was game night and all 175 students had such a blast! I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in all my life. Even after the official “game night” ended, a smaller group of students started other games and we played until curfew. It was such a great night and it was a great opportunity for us all to get to know each other even better. I’m having so much fun, and life is very busy, but as I went for a run this week, I was able to stop for a moment and thank God for this incredible opportunity. I was running up a hill and as I reached the top, I turned onto a trail in the forest, and as the trail ended, up came a gate which overlooked hills and pastures filled with sheep. What an amazing view that was. As my time here continues to be filled with excitement, I need to remember to stop every day, look around at my surroundings, and thank my Lord for this blessing and all the others He has given me.