Friday, December 18, 2009

Sweet relief

I did it. I survived an entire semester of commuting to Chico AND having Redding classes AND having online classes. I'm confident to say that this was the hardest semester of my college career. However, with the annoyance of commuting, I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I am more dedicated to my education than I realized. I learned that I love pod casts. I learned that people at Chico really ARE nice. I will never again take for granted the fact that I only have to drive down the street to get to school. The Spring semester is the last semester of my undergrad classes. I'm not sure what's in store for me next. Maybe credentialing, maybe not. Maybe a year off, maybe not. A lot can change in one semester... I'm proud of myself for sticking out such a tough few months. Even with a rather catastrophic ending, I think I finished the semester off with pretty good grades. I'm excited for the next few weeks of catching up on sleep, organizing my life (you should SEE my crazy mess of a room), and re-entering the social life I've put on hold for 3 months. Graduation is just around the corner, and I can't hardly wait!

Monday, December 14, 2009

'Tis the season...

The holiday season is in full swing, and I must tell you all that I'm excited. About many things. Here are just a few of them:
-School being over (4 more days!!)
-School starting (last semester of undergrad!!)
-Going home for Christmas (I get to see my best friend of almost 20 years AND I get to see my amazing family!)
-January 11 (Heading to Utah to see another of my very best friends!)
-December 24 (my 25th birthday!)
-January 1 (the beginning of a whole new year!!)

I realize that most people dread their birthday coming, but for some reason I've ALWAYS loved celebrating my birthday! I love looking back on the previous year and seeing all the growth. I love recognizing God's work in my life. This year has been the best of my 24 years so far. I truly blessed, and can't wait to celebrate that on December 24th! What's even better is I get to celebrate it with Annette, my best friend since Kindergarten and my family. Although I can't always explain EXACTLY what it is that God's doing in my life to my family, I know they can see a change in me. A change in my attitude, in my behavior, in my LIFE. And I know this change is because of God... they may not know the Lord, but they know me, and HOPEFULLY they see Him through the changes in my life.

Along with the many things I'm excited about, there are a few things I'm NOT so excited about. Although this list is MUCH shorter, it exists none the less.
-My 5 finals (boooooooo)
-Driving 299 to the coast during the snowy-est time of the year
-Saying goodbye to some of my favorite buddies from English class

I'm now off to study my life away for my 5 finals. Hopefully the next time I blog I will be done with at least one of these dreaded finals!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Adventures in Chico

What a fiasco today has been already. Every Thursday, I rise at the crack of dawn and drag myself to Chico for a full day of academics. I have three classes that span from 9:30 am until 4:00 pm. I usually try to leave the house by 7:30 to ensure I get a parking spot in Chico. Today, I hit the snooze a few too many times. By the time I was ready and out the door it was close to 8:00! In a panic, I jumped in my car and hit the road. Right outside of Anderson, I noticed I had just hardly a quarter of a tank of gas left. My plan was to stop in Corning and grab coffee (much needed) and fill up the tank. As I got off the freeway at Corning, I began digging around my purse for my wallet. After a good 5 minutes of searching the contents of my purse close to a MILLION times, I came to the conclusion I had left my wallet at home. At first, I was super bummed I couldn't get my latte.... but soon the reality of the matter set in: without my wallet, I was without any money. Without any money, I was without any gas. Without any gas, there was NO WAY I was going to make it to Chico and back. So, I got back on the freeway and zoomed home on fumes. Just my luck!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It's late...

I've decided I need to blog more. I've decided I have something to say. Not one thing, necessarily, but MANY things. Maybe my thoughts aren't as articulated as some, but I've got something to say!

It's late, and I can't share much tonight, however, here are some of the current things on my mind
- The alarm clock will be going off at 5:00 am tomorrow. Why am I still awake??
- My life group is incredible. Seriously.
- I am blessed beyond measure.
- I bought a new day planner today. It was on sale. I've been eyeing it for over a month now. I'm glad I was patient.
- God's been teaching me a TON about patience lately. It's frustrating and hard to deal with at times, but through my commute (yes Dan, you were right on the money) I've been FORCED to learn patience. Through my job, I've also been forced to learn patience. I'm impatience so much, and get so discouraged because of this.
- It's been well over a year since my back surgery. It feels like a life time ago, but at the same time it almost feels like yesterday I was holed up on my couch, flat on my back because of the crazy amount of pain I was in. It was a rough time in my life, but I'm blessed (see bullet number 3) beyond measure.

I'm now off to bed. I'll leave you faithful blog readers with a picture of me on Halloween. The Minnie Mouse costume made an appearance for the second time. It's a classic :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Some things change, some things stay the same

My life seems to be a whirlwind of chaos right now, but somehow I've started to realize that some things change, and some things stay the same.
Things that are changing:
-I've moved into a new house. I seem to do this at LEAST once a year. I guess I like to move (NOT EVEN TRUE!). My new roommate is incredible. Chelsea is possibly one of the most laid back people I've ever met!
-Change is definitely in the air at the Stirring. A new gathering? A new building? Who knows what the future holds, all I know is that things are changing, and I'm loving it.
-Summer is over :( But Fall is right around the corner! I'm ready to break out my scarves and jackets, and store away my shorts and tank tops for the winter!
-Simpson students are back, which means lots of familiar faces are returning to work with the kids again! I love this time of the year when the students come back and are SO refreshed and ready to hang with the kids. It gets me so excited... so so excited!
-I gave up Diet Pepsi. This is a pretty big deal. Months ago, I swore that Diet Pepsi would be the one thing in my life that remained the same... forever! But, as it turns out, Diet soda isn't all that great for you... who knew?! I've officially kicked the bad habit. I'm on to drinking GIANT bottles of water, and the occasional rootbeer.

Things that are staying the same:
-School. 16 units. Yup, my last year at Chico is this year. I'll be graduating in the Spring with my BA... can't wait can't wait! I'm pretty darn ready to be DONE with school. The only thing that's different about this semester is that I'm commuting to Chico two times a week. Good thing I've got some awesome pod casts!
-I'm still working toward that half marathon. I've regressed a bit... only running 2-3 miles per run max. But hey, I guess you've got to start somewhere, right? 2 miles turns into 12 in no time... ha!
-LIFE GROUPS ARE BACK! I'm leading on this Fall, and I'm pretty darn stoked about it. It's a women's group on Wednesday nights... I'm excited to see who the Lord brings to this group. Something powerful and amazing happens when groups of women get together... Wednesday nights are going to be epic!
-The Stirring will be starting another Under the Chuppah series in a few weeks. Imagine that, the Stirring talking about sex... ha! That's definitely something that will always stay the same :)
-God has been continuing to give me crazy dreams and visions for the children in our community. My heart burns for children. I take it with me everywhere I go. Every child I meet, every conversation I have, I feel like God's heart for His children is at the forefront of my brain.

There's a sneak peek at what's been going on in the world of Emily. There's so much more, but if I ever want to blog again, I'd better save some of it, huh? Here are a few pictures from the INCREDIBLE staff retreat we went on in August. We had a blast out on a houseboat... dreaming and laughing together. I'd say it was up there on my "highlights of summer" list.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


There's just something about getting a haircut... it makes all of your troubles disappear. I went to visit my lovely Amy today, and left with a fresh, new, AMAZING haircut. She sure works some magic on my crazy hair. After it grows for about 3 weeks, my hair takes on a mind of it's own. This is EXTREMELY frustrating when it comes to trying to style my untamed tresses. If you've seen me in the last 3 days, you'll have noticed I've been wearing a hat... it's the only thing that can hide the wildness! So, the highlight of the day today: my fantastic haircut.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer Bummer

I went to Marketfest tonight for the first time this year. Such a hugely horrible idea. First of all, I grew up in Arcata. I don't know how many of you are familiar with the weather in Arcata, but I'll let you in on a little secret; the all time high over there is in the 70's. It's never hot there. There is fog. All the time. Thick fog in the morning which burns off into thinner fog in the afternoon. Until the evening fog rolls back in. Fog usually keeps the temperature right around 60 degrees. This is the weather I grew up in for 18 years of my life. 60 degrees all year round. Lots of rain, even more fog, and the occasional burst of sunlight for a total of 20 minutes a week. Now, compare this weather to the ghastly weather here in Redding. It was pretty darn close to 100 degrees today. I've lived in Redding for 6 summers now, and I promise you, I'll never get used to this heat. You know what I'm talking about... the kind of heat that makes you think your skin is literally melting off of your body... the kind of heat that makes your brain physically shut down... I become the most unpleasant person known to man kind when I get hot. I'm not even kidding. I turn into a disgruntled, grouchy, whiny, short-tempered, sweaty, sassy person when I'm hot. What's worse is mixing the heat with large groups of people. That just makes me anxious and unpleasant... not a good combo. For those of you who have ventured out to experience Marketfest, you know that there are always a million people milling around Library Park, trying to find the spot where the giant misters hit you just right. So huge group of crazy people paired with unbearable heat equals a pretty unhappy and grouchy Emily... Next time I'm thinking about going to Marketfest, will somebody PLEASE talk me out of it??

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Use my story, Lord!

On Sunday, Dan spoke on how we are each a chosen instrument for specific things in life. How we each have a unique and compelling story that MAKES us that chosen instrument. Dan spoke about how God uses our stories to reach others who are in those same places... those dark, lonely, scary, painful places. So often we ask God "WHY??? WHY ME GOD? Why this pain? Why this addiction? Why this heartbreak? Why? Why? Why?" Instead, we should be asking God "When?" When do you want to use my story God? When can I help somebody else who's in the same place I've been? When can my story bring freedom to somebody else? For years I lived in the land of "Why?". 7 years to be exact. Why this struggle God? Why this addiction God? Why can't you free me from it? Why seven years of pain and loneliness and shame? For the longest time, I lived in that world... but in one instant, God brought redemption to those 7 years. In one word, God gave me FREEDOM from a 7 year battle. In that moment, I began living in the land of "When". For over a year now, I've been wondering when my story will be used to bring healing to others. In the past, God's spoken very clearly to me about waiting to share my story. There have been times I wanted so badly to share, but God's words "Not yet" reminded me to be patient. The cool thing about God is that He doesn't make you wait forever :) On Sunday I'll be sharing my testimony with the 7:00 gathering at the Stirring. My prayer is that there will be people there on Sunday night who will connect with my story... who I can encourage and remind of God's amazing timing and love for us. Use my story, Lord. Use all of my story.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A fond childhood memory...

When I was about 10 years old, my family, along with about 5 other families that I had grown up with decided to go on a whitewater rafting excursion. (Bad idea #1) The other families packed up their rafts, PFDs, and lunches and headed to the river. My family didn't own a raft that would work for the river, so my parents decided that a canoe would be the second best idea for the rafting trip. (Bad idea #2). The canoe we had was old, and didn't have any kind of seats in it, nor did it have any kind of even bottom for us to sit on. So my parents, being the innovative individuals that they are, decided to use lawn chairs in the canoe for the 4 of us to sit in. (Bad idea #3). We hit the river early in the morning, all pumped for the adventure ahead of us. Now, I'm not sure if many of you are familiar with the Trinity River, but the section that we were rafting was about a class 3 run which is meant for skilled professionals. My mom's a school teacher and my dad's a Brew Master. I guess to them, that translated into "skilled rafting professional." For the first few miles we're doing great. We hit a few rapids which my parents paddled us through with no problem. About 20 minutes into the trip, we see the first real whitewater rapid ahead. At this point I'm having a blast sitting in my lawn chair in the canoe, not a care in the world! We come up to this rapid, and my parents freak. We're turning sideways, and headed straight for the rocky mountain side, when my mom gets this genius idea for all of us to lean into the current. (Bad idea #4) Now, keep in mind that our center of gravity is already higher than the canoe because we're sitting in lawn chairs. What happened next I'll never forget. We all lean into the current, and as we do that the entire canoe flips over. We lost everything, and I do mean everything. Our ice chest sank to the bottom of that river, along with the 4 lawn chairs, and my mom's car keys. We were left with a wet canoe, our trusty ores and one very shaken 10 year-old.

To this day, I will NOT set foot in a canoe. I suppose the moral of the story is 1. don't take on a class 3 whitewater run unless you are REALLY a trained professional, and 2. don't use lawn chairs in a canoe. I mean, seriously? What were my parents thinking?!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Who knew?

After a few trips to farmer's market, I've discovered something new and surprising about myself... I love gardening (this coming from the girl who's killed EVERY house plant given to her... even the "fool-proof" ones). I'm not necessarily GOOD at it, I'm not sure if I'll even be able to keep any of my new plants alive, but I've realized that I love to garden! I love watering my little mini-garden early in the morning. I love squishing the snails that crawl up into the planting box and threaten the lives of my soon-to-be tomatoes. I love trimming the overgrowth from my neighbors darn rose bush that steals the sun from my newborn cucumber plant. There's something so nurturing and therapeutic about watching a plant grow and produce life (well, veggies at least!) that gets me excited! I have a big enough yard, maybe (depending on how many of my plants survive the next few weeks) I'll plant a REAL garden one day!

So now I ask, any tips for a beginning gardener on how to keep my lovely plants alive?!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

today I blog

For the first time in months, I woke up today with no allergies. Amazing! I've never felt better! No itchy eyes. No itchy throat. No congestion. No cough. I felt like a new woman! I've never really had horrible allergies, but for whatever reason, this year has been agony for me.
Due to the fact that I was feeling like a million bucks, work went quickly, and fairly smoothly as well (I only got sucker-punched once by a second grader!)
After work I raced to Target to grab a few things I've needed since March... I tend to avoid that place or else I'll spend a fortune! I didn't even look at the clothes OR the shoes... I know, it's a miracle.
I think zoomed over to Becky Moseley's to drop off a gift... ended up leaving it on her doorstep, and found out later in the day that I had left it on the WRONG DOOR STEP. Good one Emily!
Met with Meg, Hannah and Jenna for our weekly Wednesday coffee day.... have we decided on a name for it yet???
Then came home and did a bit of homework.... while deciding to play hookie from school. (I know, shame shame).
Made Breakfast for Dinner... my fav
Went on a lovely run with Danielle
Saw an unreal sunset
And here is sit, with some Chamomile Mango tea, and a huge pile of homework to get done before the weekend hits. There's my day at-a-glance... did I mention that I almost fell down about 25 times on my run? I don't know what it is with me these days...

Monday, April 13, 2009


Words can't explain how bless I am. God has given me an undying passion for children, and I get to live out that passion in the most creative and exciting way. I get to oversee about 100 kids and 30 leaders in 10 classrooms at 2 gatherings on 2 campuses. I love what I do. Sure, at times it's a bit stressful, but God is ever-so faithful to me, providing me with EXACTLY what I need at the EXACT time I need it. I am on staff with 9 amazing people who I get to laugh with, cry with and drink coffee with every week. I've been given the opportunity to live out this crazy passion that I have with these incredible and talented people. I can't explain to you how lucky I am, how good God has been to me. He brought me out of the darkest time of my life, and surrounded me with these people who bring light into my life on a daily basis. I have learned so much from each of them, and they each hold a special place in my heart. Not only to I get to live this passion out with these 9 people, but with their families too, who have quickly become MY family as well. Easter is a time to remember the happiest and most victorious day of the year- Jesus is alive. He's alive in me, and today is a day to remember the victory He's had in my life and the people he's brought into my life who have helped speak words of life back into me, and encourage me, and call out the leader they see in me. I owe so much more to these people than a silly blog... but since I can't rent the Goodyear Blimp to publicly and properly thank them, this blog will have to do... for now :)
On a different note, here are some GREAT pictures of the amazing kids and leaders I get to hang with on a given Sunday. I hope ya'll had a fantastic Easter. Jesus is so alive... we Baptized 4o-something people on Sunday... Jesus is SO SO alive!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Resolutions and such

So one of my New Years Resolutions was to run a half marathon this year. There were a few factors that aided this resolution... one being that my surgeon told me I'd NEVER run again. Yeah, he told me to get a new hobby because I'd never ever ever EVER run again. Yeah, pretty much don't tell me I can't do something because that will ultimately motivate me beyond measure. Another factor was that I needed a goal to work toward. I figured a full marathon was a bit much to reach for less than a year after major back surgery, but a half marathon would be a GREAT goal to work toward. Today I went on an AMAZING 6 mile run with Sarah. My favorite part of my run is when I get past that 5 mile wall. Once I pass that wall, I feel like I can run forever. For a while, I was stuck at 5 miles... I couldn't break the 5 mile marker to save my life! But thanks to my faithful running buddy Sarah, and the amazingly beautiful river trail, I've been able to successfully break that marker a few times now. The way I look at it, I'm half way to my half marathon... So basically, I just ran a quarter marathon! Yess! Okay, maybe not quite, but like I said, I need a goal! Next goal: 7 miles... any takers? I'm off to soak my feet and hydrate my body... you sweat a LOT running 6 miles!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Where I've been, where I am, and where I'm going

I love days like today!
Great day at work
AMAZING weather
Perfect run
Good laughs
Tasty dinner
and (the best thing of all) Cadbury Mini Eggs... life is good!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Strength Finder disappointment

Every heard of Strength Finder? It's this cleaver little test that you take and according to the way you answer the questions, it determines your top 5 strengths. Very nifty little thing. I took it about 2 years ago, and was very pleased with my top strengths. I felt they represented me well: Empathy, Includer, Woo, Positivity, Developer. All of these things stand true to who I am... knowing these strengths helped me to understand so much about myself, and the way I work with others. So here I am, two years later, taking the a variation of this same quiz, and come to find out my strengths have changed. Now, I don't know if it's normal or not, but I'm kind of disappointed with my new strengths. Honestly, I don't feel like they make any sense! I don't even really know what to make of them... and why did my other strengths, my strengths that made SENSE, change? Tomorrow, at Life Group we're supposed to discuss our strengths... I think I might lie, and just tell them my old ones :) Is that so wrong?? My new ones are boring and kind of lame in comparison... Maybe I'll just retake the test and cheat...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I'm feeling frustrated.
I'm feeling frustrated by people who have nothing positive to say. By people who really have no consideration or compassion. By people who are unappreciative and quick to judge. By people with poor attitudes and even poorer character.

I'm feeling frustrated by life's circumstances that continue to keep me up late at night writing endless papers about why P.E. is so darn important, and about how to teach a class of first graders how to sing a silly song about elephants, and about the different types of conflict in education. Isn't conflict just conflict? Seriously, why does it need so many sub-categories?

I'm feeling frustrated by the e-mails that are piling up in my inbox, waiting to be returned. If only I had more time. If only I didn't have to work and go to school and this and that and the other thing.

Oh, and I know what some of you are thinking... "well, you don't have kids to raise... you've got it EASY!"
I beg to differ.

All I really want to do is run. In all honesty, that's it. I want to strap on my running shoes, and hit the trail. That's how I channel this frustration. But, seeing as it's 10:00 at night, this blog will have to do for now. Until the sun shines again, and the new day shows it's glorious face...
So I'm feeling frustrated by life. Frustrated by people. Frustrated by the darkness that steals my running from me. Why can't I just have two more hours of daylight? Is that so much to ask?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fact #84

It's Wednesday, and I'm back to the land of the living! The past three days have consisted of DayQuil, NyQuil, cough drops, orange juic, kleenex, chicken noodle soup, and sleep. Lots of sleep. I'm one of the lucky ones who didn't get the throwing-up-for-24-hours sickness. I just got the no-voice-hacking-cough-runny-nose-body-ache sickness. Big difference.

Anyhow, God's been doing some crazy stuff in me lately. He's been reminding me of the life I lived before Him, and the people who have helped me in my journey so far. I love how He does that, how He humbles us. That's exactly what He did on Sunday night... crazy story. That's for another blog.

This blog is to proclaim that I'm pretty awful at blogging. I get GREAT ideas for blogs, but the second I sit down in front of my computer, I freeze up. My mind seizes, goes blank... you get the idea. SO, I've decided to go a different route with my blog. I'm a real big fan of random and useless information. A REAL big fan. My main source of this useless information comes from the lids of Snapple cans. I'm not a huge fan of Snapple itself, so I just look the info up on the internet. I know, I'm a cheater. Oh well. So, here's my first useless face, and surely not my last.

Snapple fact #84 Oysters can change genders back and forth.

Who knew??!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Do you like APPLES??

The game Apples-to-Apples that is. When I was first introduced to this game (by my dear sweet mother) I thought it was THE single most boring game ever invented. I was convinced I would never enjoy one single moment of playing such a pointless and poorly-crafted game. HOWEVER, that was about 2 years ago. This past trip home (to Arcata) for Christmas break, my mom, being the patience and kind soul she is, begged me to give the game another shot. Long story short, I gave it another shot, and have been totally hooked ever since! I even "accidentally" stuffed the game into my suit case, and kidnapped it back to Redding. If you've never played Apples-to-Apples, you've never really lived! (ha, well okay, it's not THAT amazing, but it's a great game!!) Seriously though, this game is great for anybody! I highly recommend it (obviously) and will gladly open my home to any other takers. I think I might just have to organize a group to play this weekend... who's in?!?!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ponder this...

So, Kris Vallotton spoke on Sunday evening at the Stirring. He had a ton to say, but I wanted to share one thing that really rocked me:
We will do for money what we won't do for love.

It's so true! We will honor our bosses because THEY provide us with a pay check. With money in our pocket. But we won't honor spiritual leaders, mothers and fathers. We'll do for MONEY what we won't do for LOVE.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Erase the Dark 2009

Erase the Dark is the Stirring's annual music, art and film festival. Last year we bought every single child at Cypress Elementary School a backpack with the proceeds. This year we're buying them shoes. I don't think some people understand how amazing this is. A pair of shoes for every child. It gets me so excited. Some of these kids have gone YEARS without a new pair of shoes. I can't wait to show up at Cypress with tons of shoe boxes, and see tons of smiles. God has given me such a burning passion for children. For the children overlooked by society. For the children without a voice. The children who are forced into poverty. I continue to hear God's voice developing this passion in me. Erase the Dark is such a tangible way for people to give back to the overlooked children in our community. I'm so excited.

Friday March 6th.
7:00 pm
It's going to be amazing.
Think of all the smiles...
Images by Freepik