The Giving of Thanks

I missed Thanksgiving. I’m in Chile, and they don’t celebrate it here. Yesterday my host mom pulled the Christmas tree out of storage and it makes me sad because it reminds me of the Thanksgiving shaped void in my life right now.

Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday next to Christmas and my birthday (which tie for first). I love the amazing delicious beautiful food that I’m allowed to gorge myself on once a year and not feel bad about my life choices. I love that my family goes around the table and says what we’re thankful for.  I love the story behind the holiday of two races coming together and celebrating their friendship and the plentiful harvest. I love that once a year, all over the country, no matter how terrible a person’s life is or how pessimistic someone is, they have a reason to think of the things and people that make their life wonderful and express that to their loved ones. I love that families who are broken can set aside their differences for just a little bit, eat an amazing meal together, and say something they are thankful for about one another. I love that when you normally wouldn’t express this to someone, you have the excuse of a holiday to tell them just how much you love someone and are thankful for them. I love that we have a once a year reminder to thank God for blessing us so abundantly and we remember all the things in our lives that are worth being thankful about.  I just really love Thanksgiving a lot!

I wish I was in the States right now. I’m missing it by nine days!

But on the bright side, I can still be thankful even from 5000 miles away from home. Obviously.

I’m thankful for my family. My mom and dad are wonderful and they’ve taught me so much. They’ve stuck together through the good and the bad and they’ve set an amazing example for what it means to love unconditionally. Rachel has a beautiful and fun personality. It’s been wonderful growing up with someone so close in age and to know I will always have someone to talk to and turn to. Lucas is funny and has a kind heart. He is a protector and I know he’ll always have my back. Jonathan is so creative and affectionate. He’s really sweet and he loves to love by spending time with his family. Even though we’ve all had our differences and we get fed up with each other sometimes, I know that in the end family is forever and we’ll always love each other.

I’m thankful for Zach.  He has a beautiful heart and a creative mind. He loves God and strives to honor Him. He is loving and thoughtful and sweet and I kind of really love him. 🙂 I’m so blessed to know him and to have dated him for the past year.

I’m thankful for my friends. Elaine, Kayla, Lauren, Caroline, Xanda, DJ, Tris, David, Jihoon, Sodam, etc. They are all beautiful people who I love dearly. They encourage me, challenge me to be a better person, and make me laugh. I’m so blessed to know every one of you.

I’m thankful for Grove City College, for the opportunity I’ve been given to receive such an excellent education, and the amazing friends I’ve made here.

I’m thankful for Chile and for the experiences I’ve had and the memories I’ve made and for the people I’ve met. I’m especially thankful for my host family, Rosy and Manuel, for caring for me and inviting me into their home and family for four months.

I’m thankful for music, and the beauty of nature, and everything else I love that I don’t have time to talk about right now.

Last but definitely not least, I’m thankful for God because all of these other things I’m thankful for are gifts from him. Even though I don’t deserve it I’ve been forgiven, saved, blessed abundantly, and loved unendingly by the creator and sustainer of the universe and that is truly amazing.

Okay so I know I’m posting this a day after Thanksgiving but that’s okay because we can be thankful every day of the year!

Also, I will be posting about Machu Picchu and other adventures very very soon I promise!




The Doctor’s Wisdom

“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.”

The Roar of Our Stars by Alice X. Zhang

The Roar of Our Stars by Alice X. Zhang

I love Doctor Who. I’m just a nerd like that. I actually own a pair of high-top All Star Converse shoes which are custom designed to look like David Tennant’s maroon Converse and say “Allonsey” on the back. They are my favorite shoes.                                      … Anyways…

One of my favorite quotes is from the episode called Vincent and The Doctor.

(for non-Doctor Who watchers, The Doctor is a Time Lord which basically means he can travel through space and time.)

~ Spoiler alert!! ~

Episode overview: Amy and the Doctor travel to meet Vincent van Gogh and defeat an evil monster. In the meantime, Amy finds out that Vincent will die by his own hand. She and the Doctor try to help Vincent battle his depression, and for a little while he seems okay. After defeating the monster, they bring Vincent back to a modern museum and allow him to see the incredible impact that his work will make on the world of art. He is speechless and thanks them both when they bring him back to his own time.  Amy and the Doctor have hope that his life will change for the better after their encounter. They return to the museum, only to discover that there is only one addition to his artwork and he took his own life in 1890. Amy is distraught and the Doctor comforts her with these words:

“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.”

This quote is beautiful for two reasons.

  1. It affects how you view your own life. You are able to feel deep pain and also deep joy and know that both experiences are equally valid and important. It allows you to be living in pain and despair but still be able to find beauty in the movement of the stars, in a memory, or in a stranger’s kind word.  It allows you to life fully and in the present and realize that all of your experiences – the good and the bad – have made you who you are today, and that is painfully beautiful.

  2. It also concerns to how you interact with others. Even if you know you can’t change someone’s life circumstances for the better, you can bring a little beauty into their life with a kind word or action.

That is what this quote means to me.

I like Doctor Who. Do you? What is your favorite quote?

(Disclaimer: the picture is not mine. It is by Alice X. Zhang.)


“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”

(II Timothy 1: 7)


Have you ever said to yourself, “That’s impossible!”

What about, “I can’t ask God for ______; I don’t deserve it.”

“If I ask God for _________ and he doesn’t give it to me, then I must be a weak Christian or maybe he doesn’t love me.”

“If I do ___ then they’ll think I’m stupid/weird/crazy/fill in the blank.”

Or, “I’m a failure because I’m not like Superchristian who leads worship and teaches Sunday school and works two jobs and has five well-behaved kids and spends four hours praying every day and invites people over for dinner every week and is beautiful and practically perfect in every way.

God can’t use me because I’m too shy, I mess up all the time, I’m addicted to _______, I can’t do squat, I hate talking to people, I talk too much, I’m prideful/fearful/bitter/sinful, I fill in the blank.

I’m unlovable because ___________________________.

I have said some variety of almost all of these things to myself either consciously or subconsciously. Believing these lies has led me to act in timidity and fear.



1. a lack of courage or confidence; easily frightened.

I act in timidity because I believe a lie. 


Even though I know  with my head that these statements are lies, I still act as though they are true.

But God did not save me so I could live my life constantly looking over my shoulder, checking to see if I was living up to the “standard,” or worrying what others might think of me.  He saved me so that I could live boldly and courageously!



1. to be able

2. the ability to do something or act in a particular way, especially as a faculty or quality.

I have the power to do anything with God’s strength.


Original Greek: Agape 

1. selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love.

I am loved unconditionally and can learn to love unconditionally. 



 1. To correct, to teach, to make of sound mind.

I will discipline myself to embrace what God tells me is true and strive to live according to His will. 

When I act as if I believe these three truths, then the lies lose their sting.

Self talk is a thing.  Tell yourself truth to replace the lie, and then act like you believe it. Be amazed at the results in your attitude and how you live your life.

“I can do this!”

“I don’t deserve _____, but I have a good God who loves to bless me so I’ll ask for it anyways.”

“If God doesn’t give me what I ask for, then his answer is either “Wait,” or “No, My Love, I have better plans for you.”

“I’m going to do something unconventional and it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of it.”

I’m not like Superchristian, but I am me and that’s okay!

God uses broken people. I’m broken. God can use me.

I am lovable, loved, and able to love!


I hope this is encouraging to you. What are your thoughts or stories of times when you felt timid, or times when you used self-talk and acted like you believed it?

Into the Light


I drew this with watercolour pencils a year or two ago at like three o’clock in the a.m. Please give credit.

We have a choice; to stay in the darkness and fear of our mind prisons, or walk into the light and freedom of Christ.


Life has a Hopeful Undertone


Here is some encouragement and deep thoughts for your consideration:

Life is complicated. Some days are beautiful and you feel full of life and joy. Other days you feel overwhelmed by pain and loneliness, and some you don’t feel anything at all.

When I was thirteen I went to public school for the first time. So picture this: socially awkward and culturally inept kid plus irregularly flaring hormones plus public middle school. In other words, I was a scared, lonely, and depressed little girl.

One day I was walking down the road on my way home from the bus stop. I had my thick unruly hair tied up in two pigtail braids and wore glasses and hand-me-down denim clothes. I must have been quite a sight shuffling along with my head down and earbuds in, not even noticing how beautiful the day was.

I was listening to Switchfoot on shuffle, and their song, Meant to Live, came on.  “We were meant to live for so much more, have we lost ourselves?” I started to think something like, “What am I meant to live for? My life sucks. There must be more than this. Is it even worth it?” Immediately after that song, The Shadow Proves the Sunshine started playing. “We are crooked souls trying to stay up straight. Dry eyes in the pouring rain. The shadow proves the sunshine…” The lyrics of both songs were basically exactly how I was feeling right then, and the message was exactly what I needed to hear. I felt like my life had no meaning, or if it did I was missing the point.  But in that moment I realized that life is hopeful and meaningful. It might be dark right now, but I need that in order to know and fully appreciate the light.

I don’t think I realized the full impact of that moment until years later. It was only the beginning to finding hope and meaning and joy even during the most painful times of life.

C.S. Lewis said, “If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”

The reverse is true as well, that without the dark, light would have no meaning. Without sorrow, we could not know joy.  Etc, etc. You get the idea.

He also said,

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

Sometimes even when my life is awesome and I am blessed beyond measure I still feel a longing in my soul that I can’t explain.  Like C.S. Lewis, I can only conclude that I don’t belong here.  I will be restless until I rest in God. I will wander until He calls me home and in the meantime, nothing can satisfy me as deeply and completely as Christ can and does. I need to remind myself of this more often cause I forget it all the time and then I feel let down when I was looking in the wrong place.

So the hopeful undertone of life is that we are not alone, life has meaning, and Switchfoot still is my favorite band.