Sunday, December 28, 2008

From Merea.....just me....



One of the joys of this season, that I cherish so dearly, is being with family and friends. Another is receiving Christmas Cards from my dear friends and their families. It is so cute to see my friends, their spouses, and their children as they posed for their card shot and wrote about the year they have experienced. I enjoy reading and being updated on their lives.

So, I would feel really lame as a single. No family. Just me. If I sent out a Christmas picture and update. But I thought I would do so here, on my blog. So, here goes....

Merry Christmas from Merea!

This year has been an eventful one for me, not in the way some would hope, but in a way that God has designed.

Allyson came home from Turkey around this time last year. I invited her to a New Year's Eve party I was attending and she invited a boy. That boy shortly became her boyfriend, fiance and husband. It was fun being maid of honor in her wedding and seeing God provide a love for her that loves Him even more. It was hard too, because you see, I am the oldest. Many comments were made about people feeling sorry for me because my younger sister is getting married before me. I'm okay. It was an exciting time for all of us. God knows what He is doing(I must admit, that sentence costs a lot for me to say and believe, but I do).

Later on that spring, I was a lead in a really fun musical. I have had a lifelong dream of being a musical actress and I got this great role. I got to sing like a large african american woman(which, if you know me, you know that I fit the part well), be the sassy villain, and dance around performing like I had always dreamed. Because of that show, I have been asked to perform in a few different places. and so the bug has bitten.... I love it!

During spring break I was asked to chaperone a trip to Ukraine with my students. So many of them have a heart for the nations now, it was a blessing buying 150 pairs of shoes for 150 orphans and watching my students pass them out, knowing that was the only pair of new shoes they would receive that year. My job, it is great. "Whatever you do to the least of these....."

That summer I returned to Ukraine, but with my church trip. With a miracle gift and a tax return I was able to go. This trip meant so much. There were 3 team members 70 years old or above. Each of them became a special friend and mentor to me. That is one thing that I love about church, my church in particular. The diversity of age. I sat with a new friend who was involved in espionage during the Cold War and knows how to speak Vietnamese who taught me to love the nations even more. A 75 year old woman who spent her life telling her kids and sunday school class about missions and said "its about time I go on mission after teaching it for so long." and a few others in their 50s, 40s, 30s and 20s. When we got there the fields were ready for harvest, and people were hungry for the gospel. It was awesome. I could write for hours about what God did. I meant a girl name Mira, she still comes to my mind often. She came up to me and said that she read my blog and we instantly became friends. She taught me how to be passionate and serious about sharing my faith. I hope we will meet again. On the way home, Jenni, one of my other younger sisters and I were walking through the airport and she told me she thinks she was in love....

So this fall she got engaged, to Jake. (see previous blog) I will never forget that moment. =)

This fall I have been teaching and planning school events. We had a theme of Monopoly for homecoming(which I am in charge of) and it was a great success. Glad that it is over though....

My best friends, Stephanie and Marcella gave birth to Andrew and Anna. Amy got married and we all met in Colorado Springs for a wonderful time. That might have been the highlight of my year. My 4 best friends and I were finally together again. I miss them so much. I'm the only single one left now. I am so thankful that God has provided each one of them with Godly men and wonderful families.

This Christmas season I became a professional singer for some extra money. I auditioned to be in a Christmas Caroling group. I made it. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun. I am growing as a musician because of it. Which fits into my summer challenge to do hard things.

I had knee surgery and they found that I had a rare disease called villonodular sinovitis. Yeah, tumors in the joints. They are back already, so pray that they will leave. =)

Highlights of my personal year:
a few of my students wanting to witness to the nations after they listened to my lesson on the unreached.
Another writing me a note and saying they want to serve God more when they walk out of my classroom.
Praise God for using me, despite me.

All in all, I realize how much God loves me and that His love is not shown in circumstances, in earthly treasures, in dreams fulfilled, because I feel like I have none of those. But I have Christ. My treasure. He shows His mercy new every morning. His promises fulfilled that He will never leave us or forsake us. His promise that He will give us a future and a hope....

and hope in Him does not disappoint...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

and Jenni, the beautiful, is engaged.....




and Jake rocks. I thank God for providing such a wonderful man for such an amazing person. I love you both.

and so the family grows. It is so fun.

All is Well

The song I will sing this Sunday is called "All is Well." This song has ministered to me in so many ways throughout the years. It speaks of the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to earth. As I break into my holiday traditions this year I decided to focus and meditate on one specific name of God......EMMANUEL. God is with us. God came to us, He walked this earth, He died on the cross and forgave us. These are the lyrics:

All is well, all is well
Angels and men rejoice
for tonight, darkness fell
into the dawn of love's light
Sing Alleluia

All is well, all is well
let there be peace on earth
Christ is come, go and tell
that He is in a manger
Sing Alleluia

All is well, all is well
Lift up your voice and sing
Born is now Emmanuel
Born is our Lord and Savior
Sing Alleluia
Sing Alleluia


No matter how bad things can be, no matter how worried we get, how discouraged, how burdened, how afraid, how poor, how abused, how weary we become, how dark the future looks, how hard it is to continue......

Let us remember that PEACE has come.....

with tidings of great JOY....

FEAR not....

Rejoice! For the SUNRISE FROM ON HIGH has come to give light to those in darkness and in the shadow of death
and to guide our feet into the way of PEACE....

ALL IS WELL
Born is now EMMANUEL
BORN is our LORD and SAVIOR

Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world

All is well.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

DON'T YOU JUDGE ME....

I think that most quoted verse in our nation right now among the young people is "don't judge, lest you be judged." There is actually a shirt that a band put out that says in big white letters, "DON"T YOU JUDGE ME!" Along with being the most quoted, I think it might be one of the most misused.

Recently I was in a conversation in which the other person said, "I can't judge them, who am I to say what is right and wrong?" I suppose that person is right if we define it right. We do NOT decide what is right and wrong, that's true. God does. However, I think most people who say things like this mean that they have no right to tell people what is right and wrong because, according to them, that would be judging. I disagree. and I think I have cause for my complaint.

We are not the ones that can determine what is right and what is wrong, God does. BUT He wrote it down for us. In the Bible. Telling us how to live, where our morality should point, and how we should think. The Bible is clear about what is right and wrong. Guess what? We can read it. Actually, He commands us to know it, love it, and even TEACH it. What? You mean teach what is right and what is wrong???? No way, thats not my place, I can't judge, blah, blah, blah.......

Yes. Teaching the truth of God's Word is teaching what is right and what is wrong. If something or someone is rebelling against what it says, it is wrong. We should, as the scripture says, minister TRUTH in LOVE. Always loving, always remembering that we were great sinners, but we have a great Savior. and He has made our wrongs disappear by the power of His blood. The best thing we can do for someone is to point them to the Great Judge, who saw them in their wrong and sent a Son to erase their wrong.

I do believe there are some who judge wrongly and we should make sure we avoid that. However, so many trade the opportunity to share truth because they don't want to offend.

Offending is not judging.
Standing up for right and wrong is not judging.
Speaking truth is not judging.

We can know what is right and wrong and speak about it. We cannot judge. That's God's job. See the difference?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Practicality from Proverbs....

So I was reading in the Proverbs the other night, I actually read through the entire book. So interesting. The wisdom of the Word never ceases to amaze me and the message of the Proverbs speaks quite directly to our culture. Wisdom is the same today as it was back in the day. Just thought I would write a few down for you to read today…


“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”

“Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise.”

“Where there are many words, transgression is unavoidable.”

“When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom.”

“As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, So is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.” (good one!!!!)

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”

“He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.”

“The backslider in heart will have his fill of his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied with his.”

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

“A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.”

“A good name is to be more desired than great riches, favor is better than silver and gold.”

“Do not associate with a man given to anger, or go with a hot-tempered man.” (girls, seriously)

“It is better to live in a corner of the roof than in a house shared with a contentious woman.”

“A constant dripping on a day of steady rain and a nagging woman are alike.”

“Like a madman who throws firebrands and death, so the is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I was just joking.”

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dream like New York....

I want to move to New York city so badly that I can think of little else. ha ha ha. Is there anyone who knows anybody that might be able to help me. With jobs, with housing, etc. Just thought I would throw it out. Any advice?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Anticipating Autumn.....

Anticipating Autumn now. I typically do since around the last Autumn. =) I just enjoy the cooler weather and a few other things...

sweaters
hats
scarf
leaves
pumpkin spice lattes
fireplaces
football games
marching bands
school starting
Deep colors
cuddling
apples
homecomings
Church choir Christmas music prep
Candles
Apple Cinnamon Scents
My Family, well, thats all year
Harvest

As sure as seasons are made for change............ so change already. =)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Our beautiful bridegroom...



this past weekend I flew to Colorado Springs to be in one my best friend's weddings. Amy Bieker. All four of my best friends from college were there and I was more than excited to see them. We stayed in a hotel together. Me and the three pregnant girls, Renee, Marcella and Stephanie. Because of how much water I drink and my need to use the restroom every half hour, I fit right in. ha ha h ha hahahahahahah.
Anyway, we had the best time. It is so good to be with women that are like these women. They make me laugh, they listen to me, they love me through my imperfections and they laugh at me. It was so good to see these women. God has blessed me beyond measure with each of their friendship and I admire each of their commitment to their families, husbands, and most of all their Lord.


One particular thing that stood out to me this weekend was my friend Amy. She was radiant. She was calm, beautiful and in love with her now husband. I'll never forget the way Amy looked when she walked down the aisle, she had such a beautiful countenance. In all outward appearances she looked drop dead gorgeous, but what really stood out was her character and obvious anticipation as she was escorted down the aisle. She never took her eyes off Casey, her groom. It was like he was the only one in the room. It was a gentle reminder to me of my Savior, my bridegroom. I thought about what the relationship of marriage illustrates for us. Our Jesus is our bridegroom, and we are His bride. I hope I look upon Him with anticipation for our union, I hope I look upon Him with such a longing for His presence that it radiates off my countenance, I hope I look upon Him to love, serve and delight in. For He has pursued us, He has loved us with an everlasting love, He has seen our nakedness and ashes and He washed and adorned us. My Kinsmen Redeemer, my bridegroom, my love.

To Amy, for showing me who Christ is and loving me through these many years. I love you with all my heart and rejoice that you have been allowed a marriage relationship, use it to understand and love Jesus even more. Many blessings.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Forgiveness...

Recently I have been reminded of what it means. I think to truly experience forgiveness we need to be broken over our wrongdoing, our sin. Understand that we are imperfect. Each on of us. We fail, we fall, we let people down, we get angry, we make ourselves the most important person in the universe, and we sin.

I just wanted to say that I'm thankful for it. God looked upon our sinful, filthy, detestable souls and demonstrated mercy. He punished Jesus for our sin. We do not have to be punished for it. Do we understand that?!!!!! He punished Jesus for it, not us, Jesus. To love us, for His glory. I am overwhelmed. Oh the deep deep love of Jesus. Oh the deep, deep love.

No guilt in life, no fear in death, this the power of Christ in me.

He is mighty to save.


We should be the same with one another. Love one another, serve one another, forgive one another.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Until there's no one left who has ever known us apart...

There is an off broadway musical called "The Last Five Years." Here is my favorite song. Its called "the Next Ten Minutes." You don't have to read, if you're not a romantic. I am, so are my many friends=) So sappy, but so beautiful, the music is even better. =)


The Boy, Jamie, sings:

Will you share your life with me

For the next ten minutes?

For the next ten minutes

We can handle that

We could watch the waves

We could watch the sky

Or just sit and wait

As the time ticks by

And if we make it till then

Can I ask you again

For another ten?

And if you in turn agree

To the next ten minutes

And the next ten minutes

Till the morning comes

Then just holding you

Might compel me to

Ask you for more

There are so many lives I want to share with you

I will never be complete until I do

THE GIRL, CATHY, sings:

I'm not always on time

Please don't expect that from me

I will be late

But if you can just wait

I will make it eventually

Not like it's in my control

Not like I'm proud of the fact

But anything other than being exactly on time

I can do

I don't know why people run

I don't know why things fall through

I don't know how anybody survives in this life

Without someone like you

I could protect and preserve

I could say no and goodbye

But why, Jamie, why?

I want to be your wife

I want to bear your child

I want to die

Knowing I

Had a long, full life in your arms

That I can do

Forever, with you

JAMIE

Will you share your life with me

For the next ten lifetimes?

Forever

Till there's no one left

Who has ever known us apart

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I got all my sistas and me








Vanessa took these, she is so good. Boy, these bridesmaids were gorgeous. I had to deal with some serious self esteem issues, ha ha. Just kiddin. Pictures of the most gorgeous of all, the bride, will come later. Don't have any. But she chose some awesome colors.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis

I went in for surgery today. The surgeon found out I had this disease in my knee. Apparently, there were a bunch of little benign tumors growing in my right knee and causing a lot of problems. I am here at my parents house recovering for the next couple days. Those of you who texted me, gave me little flower plants(Colleen), called me, and prayed for me. Thank you so much. My Dad and Mom are excellent caregivers.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I will be a Master

Its official, I am getting my Master's in Education, secondary ed. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wilhite Wedding



Allyson, my younger sister, is getting married in 9 days. I am so excited for her, she is a beautiful, talented, vibrant and committed woman. She will make a great wife to Shawn. He is very blessed to be her husband in a few days. Pray for them as they embark on this wonderful journey. Pray for us as a family, lots of people coming into town, lots to do, and a party to attend!!!! This picture is my favorite of them, because it shows who they are together. Fun.

Ukraine Review






For those of you who want to know how my trip went. It was amazing. It was one of those trips that I will never forget. Despite many obstacles getting there: one being my knee injury two days before we left, I tore my medial and lateral meniscis (spelling?). I went to my surgeon's office and he injected me with cortizone and drained some bloody fluid off my knee and off I went, trippin. I love cortizone!!!! Thanks to those of you who prayed. I was somewhat handicap and couldn't participate in some games, but for the most part I did fine.

One of our first days there was touring the city of Chernigov. Olya, this amazing girl from the church, and her mom gave us a tour. It was there that I had a really cool experience. I was introducing myself to some of the girls there and one told me that she read my blog!!!!!! Her name was Mira, I love her so much now, not because she read my blog, but because she became my partner in crime for the rest of the trip. But the fact that she read my blog was so encouraging, she also told me that it encourages her. So therefore, I will keep blogging. People in Ukraine read!

I got to lead kids in music and teach an english class. I got to share the gospel freely and unashamedly. That was a really great feeling and people from our english club came to Christ. It made me want to take more opportunity at all times, here or there, to share our treasure, Jesus, with the world.
Also, I met the neatest family. I got to stay with Jake and Anya Knotts and their little girl Maia. I came to love and respect them and will remember them always. Anya was an amazing cook and Jake is the Pastor of the church we worked with in Chernigov. Their little girl is the cutest, I had so much fun with her.
Here are some pics. I didn't have my camera, so I stole these from Curtis. If I had a camera, I would have pictures of Mira, Jake and Anya, and Maia. My english class and my friend Sveta and Zhenya.

I am lame

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Pray for us. Ukraine Team 08. We leave today!


Pray to Him who is able to do more than we can ask or imagine.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer 08: Do Hard Things

Well, I have been blessed this summer to meet with a group of six High School girls. Students of mine this last year. We were talking at one of the end of the year celebrations and we decided to do a discipleship group on Thursday nights. So far, I have been blessed. We decided to read a book entitled, Do Hard Things, by the Harris twins. A teenage REBELution against low expectations. Such a good book, such a good message. I actually have come to believe that this message is for the many twenty-somethings that I run with as well. Do hard things, do things out of your comfort zone, do things that require some hard self-initiation, do things that counter the cultural norm, do things that no one will notice but God. Do hard things.
I have been so impressed with the message presented in this book and I recommend it to all youth leaders, high school teachers, and the like. One of the chapters in the book is called the Myth of Adolescence. A myth? hmmmmm. The word "teen" was not used until the year 1941. The typical rebellious youth years did not actually exist until after the first world war. Interesting. The general point of this book is that society has placed low expectations upon the teens and nobody rises to the occasion when they are not expected to. So it is a REBELution against low expectations. Heroes of our faith and heroes of the secular world started when they were teens. Charles Spurgeon was preaching to thousands by the time he was 17. When Jonathan Edwards was a teen, he wrote some of the deepest and most challenging resolutions for the rest of his life. The book names some of the greats who did great things as teenagers. George Washington and Clara Barton.
As I look back on my teen years I see a lot of waste. Thank God that I didn't wast all of those years, but I could have done so much more. Also, I have been thinking about my twenties as well. Did I do hard things? Did I jump out of my comfort zone? In some ways yes, and others, not at all.
The Bible is constantly telling us to live a PASSIONate life dedicated to knowing Christ and making Him known. Do we pour out our lives for the sake of others? Do we cling to the eternal hope of glory instead of to the things of this world? Do we see Christ, our savior, our sacrifice and leave all else behind? Do we commit our lives to the church, His body, to minister to our fellow brothers and sisters?

What hard things will I do this summer?

Well, the ones I can share on the internet=)
1. Juice vegetables for two meals a day. ahhhhhhhhhhh!
2. Get knee surgery. I'm scared.
3. Purpose to rejoice in the midst of disappointment.
4. Teach english to Ukrainians for a week.
5. Get a bike and ride it to work in the fall.
6. Memorize loads of scripture.
7. Get a hold of my budget and stick to it.
8. Never gossip.
9. Be able to run 3 miles by Thanksgiving. After my knee surgery. yikes. and dare I say, be able to run a 5k in the spring. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!
10. Start my Master's degree. Lord, I need money.

You may be thinking that those are not very hard. Well, get your own list. This is mine. Well, the "surface-y" one. The deeper ones are none of your business. So what hard things will you do? I challenge my friends Renee, Stephanie and Rachel to make a list and post it on their blogs. ha ha. You don't have to, but it would be fun to see what you say. Rach, have a second child. That should be number one, you amaze me every time I read your blog. What a great mother Georgia and Henry have!!!! Thanks for showing me how to do hard things and you didn't even know it.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Did I mention I was in a musical this spring?


I was cast as the Sour Kangaroo in Seussical the Musical. Here are the leads in our dressing room one night. More pictures to come. So fun. If you are familiar with the musical, I know you are laughing that I was the Sour Kangaroo. Humpf!

Mayzie, Gertrude, Sour Kanga, Cat in the Hat, Mrs. Mayor, Horton.

FITP Team Ukraine. Pray for us. July 3-13.


Here we are.

Like the Spring rain watering the earth...


Well, Southern California is typically the place where the weather is predictable, especially from May to September. Sunny. Warm. Dry. I love living here. This week it started out in the low 100s. It was stinkin hot. I was driving home on Thursday after work and it started hailing and about 20 miles away a tornado touched down. Talk about freaky and unpredictable. I felt like I had been transported to the midwest for a few days. Even today, Saturday, I have jeans, long sleeves and a winter vest on. I am sitting drinking coffee this early morning and I'm cold. Here is a photo about 20 minutes after it started falling on Thursday afternoon.

Can I just say that I thought this was such a lovely gift from God. The summer will be long, hot, and dry. I felt like God was giving us a refreshment before the heat begins. It reminded me of one of my favorite passages in the Bible. Hosea 6:3 "So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord, His going forth is as certain as the dawn, and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth."

Let's be reminded of God's mercy in this weather. In our desert and dry times of life, press on to know Him. His presence, though it feels faint sometimes, is as certain as the dawn. Do we doubt the sun coming up? Never. Our father has promised that His presence will prove as certain as the dawn. Which makes sense, cuz He created it. =) The scripture is full of commands about pressing on, waiting. "Those who wait on the Lord, will renew their strength, and mount up with wings like eagles." "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." So let us press on.

My dear friends, Sandy and Andy Gaither, sang this song on Sunday. As I sat their I couldn't control the tears falling down my face. Read these words and press on:

God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
when you don't understand
when you can't see His plan
when you can't trace His hand
Trust His Heart.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

What is Beauty?




So my sister Hannah is amazing. She wrote this poem for me on my birthday and I thought I would share it with you all.




BEAUTY by Hannah Price

Beauty is within the purity of your heart
It is within the wisdom of your mind
Beauty is within the willingness of your spirit
It is within the gentleness of your actions.

Beauty is not relative to the culture.
It is not to be compared with others.
Beauty is not within external features.
It is not polished or contrived.

Beauty is seen in the glory radiating on Your face.
It is shown through your skillful singing.
Beauty is exemplified in your character.
It is your well-lived life in His grace.

"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised." Proverbs 31:30

Hannah, thanks for your heartfelt words. They speak to all of the world. You are an inspiration to me always. I love you.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

27 Birthdays





I have the greatest job in the entire world. and this year God has blessed me with a very special class. I get to teach one class of Freshman Bible. On my birthday I arrived at school and this class had secretly made shirts with my picture on them, planned a surprise party, gave me presents, and made me a beautiful cake. This class is so special to me, we laugh and pray and learn together and I adore every single one of them. Thank you Bible class for being the most wonderful class a teacher could ever ask for. I pray that God will build a passion in your heart for loving others as you have so faithfully loved me. Here are some photos of the day.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Charlie bit my finger - again !

This is the funniest thing I have seen in a long time. and cute too!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

God gives. God takes. Blessed be His Name!

This really ministered to me today. Grab some kleenex and go to this site. www.ignitermedia.com/products/iv/singles/570/99-Balloons


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Roommates Extraordinaire!


So I have been meaning to blog about these two amazing girls that God has sent me. They are so fun and in a time where I felt like a lot of my friends were not there anymore, God brought them into my life. So Colleen and Sarah, thank you for loving me through my flaws, making me laugh and helping me feel like I have a home with you every night. I love you both.

Also, I got a new computer and we were messing around with imovie the other night. We thought we would demonstrate 3 different emotions and then we decided to put funny music and sound effects to it. This is why we have so much fun!!!!!!! Yes, we know, total cheese, but amazing fun.





video