Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I Made It!

Well. I made it! It's been a week since I've been here. 
The flights here were way easy, besides a guy who refused to let me put my seat back to sleep! But overall, it didn't feel as if I had just traveled for 24 hours. 
We had a crazy experience in Germany! Our first plane from San Francisco got in a little bit late, so when we landed in Germany, we had 5 minutes til boarding on our next plane! Well, if you have ever been to the Frankfurt airport, you'll know it's not small. At all. We ran for 40 straight minutes, took a train, and barely made the flight! We were the very last ones on the plane. Nickoli put it in good words saying "It felt like we were on the amazing race!" He was right. I saw Levi get a look from a guy giving him dinner when Levi pointed out who all was with him. "FIVE kids!?" It was too funny.
Jet lag stinks. My new sleeping hours are 8pm- 4am. And no matter how hard I try, I can't stay up past 8 and I can't sleep past 4. But at least I'm getting 8 hours of sleep, yeah? 
Wednesday morning we went and met the moms of all the forever family houses. And then on Friday I got to meet the 13 kids in the intake center! My heart melted as little Nati grabbed my hand and walked me downstairs, and as I played peek-a-boo with a little girl, Kalkidan. 
We've gone to lunch and dinner with American friends, and I must say, it was nice to be able to understand them! (Levi said that I can take Amharic classes if I want...yes PLEASE!) 
And we went to a NGO Bizarre, a place for forenges(sp?)(foreigners) to go and mingle and shop. I saw a woman who looked like Angela Porras, and I almost cried right there. (Miss you Angela!) 
Sunday we went to church. Jessie stayed home to finish unpacking and such and I got tapped on the shoulder twice with people saying "Jessie! You're back!" As Ruth would say, I said "I'm not Jessie!" and they responded "Well then who are you!?" That's not exactly how it went, but close enough! 
Yesterday, Monday, I went over to the office to get information about all the sponsorship kids. The stories I heard broke my heart. Mother, father, or both parents dead from HIV. The kids diagnosed with HIV. Paralyzed. Vision problems. The list goes on and on, and my heart just broke and broke. Seeing pictures with the names and stories made it even worse. And in two weeks I get to meet these kids! I'm excited to meet the sponsorship families, and the kids in the forever families. 
Today, I woke up at 3:30, sick to my stomach! It's not pleasant. Moving hurts. No food will stay down. And the fetal position is my new favorite position. Not a fun day. 

Well there's my first week! I'm hoping in this next week I can get a little bit more normal sleeping hours! 

Thank you Jesus for allowing me to go on this amazing adventure! Use me to be Your light to everyone I encounter! 

For understanding of more of the technical terms (forever families, sponsorship families, intake center, etc.) head on over to bringlove.in and browse around and it will all be explained to you! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Two Weeks?

Two weeks? More like 12 days! 

These next two weeks are gonna be crazy! I'm moving halfway across the world!
So much happening/to do with so little time!
 Coffee dates, Youth, Church, Packing, Shopping, Birthdays, Parties, all on top of every day life!
A little photo splurge of my 'lasts' before I go with what's been going on!
Happy Birthday Ashley!
 Happy Birthday Tsehay!

There have been a few girls nights going on... :)

I went to my last Theology, led by the amazing Ryan Murphy! 
I got to hang out with my cousins for what could have been the last time, we aren't sure...
I got through two unexpected shots.
 I recieved an early Christmas present from Mom and Dad! :D
 And did some shopping to prepare myself. 

I feel like there is still so much to do. 
Sometimes I feel like I just don't know where to start at. And other times I feel as if I have more than enough time to accomplish it all.
In one corner of my room I have a suitcase sitting there, with bags of stuff around it all waiting to be packed. It's unreal, really. I've been waiting for almost seven years for a trip somewhere in Africa, and now I have this amazing opportunity to go to Ethiopia where my siblings are from to learn life lessons, and about how Tsehay and Fekadu grew up. I really can't wait to see what God has for this next season of my life. 
My room is now mostly in boxes, about to go up in the top of my closet. That's a weird sight. I always expected to be here til I got married. I guess God has different plans! 
(This is the unboxed part, but the *mostly* cleaned out closet!)
With the days growing shower, the enemy is definitely on the prowl. I have had a few days where I wanted to just give up. Last week I had this super weird stomach ache, that I can't describe without you thinking I'm literally crazy. Yesterday was the first say I woke up and felt decently normal, and today was an alright day too. It's been over a week with this feeling, but I am believing that it will be gone soon! Along with this weird thing, I noticed some spots on my lef. I had absolutely no idea what they were, but I showed Mom. I was hoping for her to look at them and say "You're fine," but when she looked at them, it wasn't a "You're fine" kind of a face. Less than 2 hours later I was at the doctors office. I was definitely worried. I don't really know why, but I was. I let a group of my closest friends know what was going on, and they prayed with me as I went in. It ended up being something really minor and now it is being treated. Thank you Jesus, and get behind me Satan! :)
The one thing I am still waiting on is my fundraising. I need about $1,500 before I leave. I am believing in Him to provide. :)
12 more days!
Let's do this. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Falling Apart.

Today I looked at my count down and saw this:

Whaaaat. That's a month and a half. Less than that.

These past few weeks have been hard... As many of you may know, I have lived in the house I live in now since I was 2. So as I am preparing to leave, I am literally leaving everything I have ever known. As I am preparing myself for all of this, the devil is attacking me in every possible way. The biggest way being that he is trying to make me feel alone so that when I leave in 42 days I feel like I have no one. The funny thing is, I know that it's a lie. I know that I have family and friends who are going to support me and love me and pray with me through these next months. But that isn't stopping him from attacking me. My closest friend and I haven't talked in over two weeks, when we normally talk every day. Another close relationship I used to have has completely fallen apart, and we see each other every day and walk by each other without saying a word. I feel hatred towards some of my closest friends that don't deserve it. A bunch of these relationships are falling apart, and I feel lonely. Besides dealing with loneliness so much more is going on as well. Past issues are coming up, trust issues, stupid drama.. All of which I want nothing to deal with.. I am falling apart.
So today as I am preparing to leave behind everything I know, I am going to leave behind all these stupid little things the devil is trying to get me down with.

So today, I'm going to close with one thing.. 


Tuesday, August 7, 2012


When I graduated in May, my mom presented me with a scrapbook of letters from my family members and close friends that were full of congratulations and encouragement. I opened it up today to reread them, and in every one is something everyone should know and learn. Here are a few of them. 

"Don't waste your time being hurt or angry. Let Jesus do that for you. LOVE. Love everyone. See beauty in everyone and everything. Sometimes it's easier to do, but even when it's hard... find the beauty." ~Kristin

(From a poem) "Anger is one letter short of danger." ~from Grandma

"Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfector of your faith and He will keep you in His grace." ~Aunty Cathy 

"You can make a difference in this world, you can find what you want to do and go for it with a passion and joy. Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." ~Grandmama

"This is a huge step in your life. You are graduating! Remember that now is the time to realize who you are in Christ." ~Brittany

"Keep your eyes on Jesus. Keep your heart soft, close and willin. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing or when it looks like they are succeeding more than you. Delight in the Lord, wait on Him, follow His lead and learn to be satisfied with Him alone. Trust His timing for future direction, future spouse, and future success. Take time to really let God develop His character and His beauty in you." ~Pastor Steve and Stephanie

"Life can be trying, so plan time for things you enjoy." ~Gramma Cathy

"You are special and unique and NO ONE else can walk out this destiny so we would encourage you strongly to seek after God's voice to hear what His desire is for you." ~PB and Rachel

"Keep your eyes fixed on Him alone for all things and through all things for He will never let yo down." ~Auntie Beth and Uncle Tim

"I know being 'special' can be difficulty. Being 'set apart' has its disadvantages. But the blessings far outweigh the frustrations. God has such incredible plans for you and only you can complete the tasks He has set aside for you. No one can take your place or do it better. He has a reserve of strength for you in the difficult days of being 'set apart for Him.' Remember, He will ALWAYS be at your side. People will fail you and let you down. He will NEVER leave you. His love for you is immeasurable." ~Mom

And my absolute favorite: 

"PS. Don't forget, boys do have cooties honey." ~Marcy Jo. :)

Okay, that last one was slightly sarcastic, but only slightly. ;)

But seriously, when you read these read these as if they were being written to you, not me. These are true for everyone. And everyone needs to read and learn from them. 

A lot of these are repetitive in some way, but it just shows how important they really are!!

I hope you find some of these as awesome as I did. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


God is so good.
Since I have made my decision to go to Ethiopia, God has proved himself to me in more ways than one.
One of them being financial help.
Since this summer started, I have started working at a day care, nannying for another family, and have gotten lots and lots of babysitting jobs. That in itself has been a total blessing!
On top of that, a family handed me an envelope with the exact amount of money I needed to pay for my plane ticket. GOD IS GOOD.
Then, I said something on Facebook about collecting can/bottles stuff for recycling, and I get a call form my Grandma. My grandpa is normally pretty good about turning in his recycling, but it just so happens that it has been about 2 years since he turned in anything, so my Grandma said she would give me whatever they got from that! (Ended up being over $120!)
That same weekend I went and babysat a little girl, and the dad just kept handing me random bills before/after their date. The mom paid me after. It ended up being about $25/hour to watch their one child. Whhaaaat?? Unheard of.
Now today, I got out of the shower, and mom knocks on my door and says "Do you want another blessing?" I was beyond confused til I see an envelope in her hand with my name on it dated December 20, 2007. This money wasn't my moms. It was back when I used my parents as a bank. I had completely forgotten about it. Over $200 in it back from 8th grade when I was saving for something. Something I don't even remember. Something that now means "Addis Ababa, Ethiopia."

So many other things have happened. And now my financial worries do not worry me any longer. Yes, I still need to raise about $4,000 for the rest of my trip, but to God that is like a penny. I believe that if I am supposed to go, then I will go. I believe it will all work out in the end.

All I have to say is, God is good. And no matter what, you have to trust in him. Through all these miracles and blessings that are happening, it's a confirmation that I should be going. If he didn't want me to be going, he wouldn't be blessing me like this.

Praise Jesus! He deserves all the glory!

Monday, July 16, 2012


After I told my parents, things got easier. I wasn't stressing about keeping secrets from them. And it was then that I could really concentrate about whether or not I was going to take this seriously, or if I wanted to go back to my original plan and go to Sierra and become an emergency room nurse...

15 days after I talk to my parents, I get a Facebook message:

And with that message, it all became real to me.

These people heard a rumor (obviously started by my dad..) and wanted me to come spend time with them in Ethiopia? It didn't make sense to me! I was just an 18 year old girl, hadn't graduated from high school yet, and they were inviting me to come spend time with them? The same people I was having dreams about? Coincidence? I think not!

I didn't know what to say. I shut my computer, and just sat there. I prayed again right then, and then went to sleep.

I told me mom the next day, I was obviously giddy and excited, that it all might happen. I didn't know if it would happen. I was still praying about it. But now the door was open. And it made it more real to me that if this was really what God wanted to do, than he would have his way and make it happen.

For two weeks I opened that Facebook message to reply in some way and just didn't know what to say. I mean, I really didn't know if I wanted to go yet. But when I did finally decide that I thought this was something I really wanted to do, I ended up talking to a friend, and they told me just to share my heart with Levi and if he still wanted me to come after I told him my story than I would decide to go.

So two weeks after I got the message, I sent one of my own to Levi, saying everything about my heart for Africa, how it started years ago! In 6th grade I received a prophesy about Africa, and that was the initial seed planting. I thought that with the adoption of Tsehay and Fekadu that they were what that prophesy was about. But it came back up when praying about what to do after high school! So I went on for a bit about that, and sent my message.

You know with the new Facebook messages, how you can see when people read the messsages? Yeah. I checked back constantly to see if the message was read, just so I could see the response when/if he responded. I saw that he had checked it one morning and just sat there waiting to see if he would respond. Well he didn't respond that day.. Or the day after.. Or the day after. My mind went negative. So he read my message and just ignored it. Awesome. "See, this wasn't a thought from God. He never really wanted you to go," I told myself each day that I didn't get a response. I remember almost crying to the friend that told me to share my heart, and told them that he ignored my message, so it wasn't from God. That friend told me to have patience. Because he was on the other side of the world, where the power might be down or whatever might have come up. I told them they were right, and went to bed.

Of course due to my finally beginning to be patient, and calmness about the whole thing, I woke up the next morning and had a message from Levi... The first line saying "Emma. I have been trying to get time to sit down at y compter and write you but every time I have the power is out or the internet goes down ...." So my friend was right. I was just being too impatient. The rest of the message said that they wanted me to come back with them in October when they returned to Ethiopia after a summer here, than I could! For however long I wanted, a month, six, a year! So with that message not only was the confirmation about going there, but also that long term was possible! God is so good!

I made my decision that I was going to go within the next few days. And Levi and I talked a little bit more back and forth about random things. He explained to me about what I would be doing, and the job sounded perfect for me. He was coming to America soon and we would talk then.

It was all coming together. I had a place to stay. A job to do. And Jesus with me to make it all happen.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Parents.

That night after my talk with Bob, and really thinking about it, I didn't know how I could tell my parents. I knew that as soon as I saw them, I would feel guilty for not telling them. Yeah, it wasn't something to feel super guilty about, but still. My mom knows almost everything, and at this point what she knew was that I was going to Sierra in the fall and transfer to a school with a real good nursing program when I was ready. I didn't think it would be a big deal, telling her something different like Africa, but I still didn't want to deal with it at that moment...

Good think we had a girls night that Friday! We all went to Anjuli's and had a crazy sleepover with lots of laughing, getting in trouble for being loud with her parents (sorry Mr. and Mrs. Watson!), and peanut butter cookies. Mmm mmm. Were they good! (Thanks Katrise, Lisanne, and friends!) Anyways, the next day we had a pancake breakfast, and outreach, and by the time I got home it was time to leave for church Saturday night. SCORE. I didn't have the time to tell them.

Sunday on the other hand was a different story.. It was the day we were doing yard work. We were up pulling weeds as a family, Dad, Mom, Sam, Tsehay, Fekadu and I. Dad was down on the lower level and mom and I were up top. She brought up college in the fall and that's when I told her... "What if I chose not to go to college, Mom? What if I went in a completely different path?" She asked what I was thinking and I told her. She was super acceptive about it. And encouraged me just to pray and make sure that that was really what I wanted to do with life, and that no matter what I chose, she would be there for me through thick and thin and she would help me with anything in order to get me there. I had my moms support.

Now my dad...... I was fully convinced he would deny the idea, and tell me that college was the best idea and all that..... My dad would take convincing.

Let's face it: Emma can be put to better use in the kitchen than she can be out in the yard. Emma always makes lunch when the family is all busy doing family projects. It's just how it is. Emma and Dad that is....

Mom walks in while we are making lunch and says "Emma, tell your dad about what you just told me." Obviously, Dad was curious and wanted to know about it all. I went around it, saying "I wasn't ready to share it." and every other excuse I could think of.. He finally kept pushing me away from what  I was doing saying "Just tell me..C'mon..Tell me!!" Dad's can be so frustrating sometimes! ;)

I just kept cutting up cheese, pickles and stirring the tuna we were making. Finally, I just said "I'm not going to college." He looked at me like I was crazy. So maybe that wasn't the best way to tell him.. I continued to tell him that I was thinking about maybe going to Ethiopia instead, and that I had been having dreams about the Benkert family. (I had no idea what the dreams meant, just that they were in Africa and that could possibly mean something, like I could go to Africa like they did? No idea.) He was quiet for a minute, and I was scared he was mad. But after a little (or big) awkward silence, he said "Well, I can talk to Levi for you."

I was completely shocked. Completely. Dad supported me.

The Beginning.

It was a Friday night after youth. I was cleaning the women's bathroom by myself. I normally clean it with my two best friends, but they were in a meeting. I found myself almost in tears. Not because I was cleaning the bathroom alone. But because I was confused. I was about to graduate. And though 3 months before I had everything planned for the fall, that was no longer the case. 

"What should I do? What is my purpose here?" I cried out to God while scrubbing a toilet. Here we're my options: School. Work. Africa. Wait, Africa? Where did that even come from? I hadn't thought about Africa in years. I mean, yeah, it has always been in the back of my mind, but that wasn't really a possibility was it? No. No way. No chance! I couldn't leave my family, even for a short time. "Long term." I heard in my head, but loud enough to really get me to think. 

I tried to shake the thought. All I needed right now was for Amanda and Alec to walk around the corner and say "Let's finish this!" and a hug from Amanda, but I looked outside and saw no one. 
Keith Haines and Bob Dryer were cleaning the men's bathroom. I asked Bob to help me with the trash key, and that's when he asked what was up. I have known Bob since by 5th/6th grade year. He was my Jr. High youth pastor, and more importantly, he was that older brother I never had. I know if I ever needed anything, I could go to him for help. 

That's when I broke down to Bob. Not crying, but on the verge, and just dropped everything about my future, Africa, what I wanted to do with life. But a lot about Africa. I remember telling myself "What are you saying? You haven't even prayed about this recently! This isn't God's plan!" I continued talking anyways. This wasn't me talking. I had no idea what I wanted! I kept looking at the door for Amanda or Alec to come in and save me from this conversation. "This is all a big mistake. Emma, shut up and finish the bathroom," I told myself countless times. I finished my little rant, took a deep breath and looked at Bob. There was a little silence for a minute, and I kept feeling like I should fill it, but decided against it because what I had already said sounded stupid and anything else I could say would sound stupid. 

There was an awkward eye contact and Bob just said one word, at first: "Go." He told me. What? What in the world was I hearing? Wait, he possibly couldn't be telling me to go to Africa is he? No. He's just telling me to "go" finish the bathroom.. Yeah. That's it. But then he started to explain that he could see me in Africa and lots of other things (about Africa and such) but my mind was spinning too fast to catch anything except that he thought I could do it and he would support me 100% through whatever I chose. He left the bathroom, and my head was spinning. I went to finish the bathroom and while I was in the Handicap stall I stopped and just stood there. 

Maybe I really could do this. 

Maybe this could be a crazy adventure I would never forget. 

Maybe that why I was having dreams about the Benkert family and little Luella. 

THE DREAMS! I hadn't even thought about that. 

The Benkert's are a family from our church, living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. They have lived there for 3 years, doing God's work. They come back during summers, and I figured that's what the dreams were. I'm sure I was just up late Facebooking and happened to see a status Levi or Jessie posted about their trip this summer. But now I began to think differently. But at that point my brain was on overload and I needed to shut out the rest of thoughts, at least until I got home. 

Amanda and Alec finally came down when I was mopping the hallway, so the bathroom was done. These two can read me as easy as a child's book. Separately they came down the stairs, and separately they both asked my what was up, something was on my mind. I told them. I remember one of them asking why I had never mentioned it to them, and I couldn't give an answer except I didn't even know I was thinking about it until that night, about 20 minutes before. Before I left that night they both told me they would support me in whatever I did, and that they were happy I was thinking more about it than just making an on the spot decision of 'no' like I felt like I should do. I had my best friends, my brother, and most importantly, My Jesus standing behind me with whatever I did. 

Before I left, Bob told me I had to tell my parents. Not that I had to that night, but he highly recommended that I talk to them about it. And soon, since I was still living under their roof. My heart dropped. My mom might understand, but my dad? No way. He would never let me go. I'm his youngest biological daughter. Yeah, we didn't have the best relationship, but he still wouldn't want me to pick up and leave as a long term missionary, and, and, and.. 

Too much for one night! My brain was about to explode. 

Amanda took me outside before I left and she told me just to breathe. We looked in and Bob was standing at the door mouthing "Africa! Africa! Africa!" We both giggled like little girls, and we had a little talk about girly stuff. It was getting late, and we knew we had to leave soon so we finished our talk and hugged, because that's just what girls do. "I'm gonna miss you." She said softly in my ear. "Amanda, it's just an idea. I don't know what's gonna happen with it. We'll see though." I don't remember her exact words after that, but she told me she knew my heart well enough that I wouldn't be this tore up about something I didn't really want to do. Yeah I wanted to do it. But could I? "You can do it." She said tossing all my negative thoughts away. We went inside and I felt a little more relaxed. 

Why was I stressing about it this much? I really shouldn't be. I had Jesus on my side! And I knew I could get through anything, even something as big as moving across the world, as long as I had him. I didn't know where I was going. I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't know where I would be in 6,8, 10 months! All I knew is that I believed that I would be right where God wanted me. And that was enough to get me through.

And this is only the beginning...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

God is a Flashlight?

When you are walking in the dark with a flashlight, it doesn't show you where you are going, it shows you your next step. Yet you still trust that flashlight with your life.
That is like your life in Christ. He knows where your going, but he doesn't always show you the whole blueprint.
You don't know everything. You don't know where you are going to go. You don't know where life will take you.
But, why do we need to know? We don't.
It is all in God's hands. He knows what is best for you. He knows how everything will work together.

Trust in God like you would trust in a flashlight. Trust him to take you that next step.

Dear Jesus, Please show me the next step in life. I am going to trust you like I would a flashlight. I believe you have a plan for my life and I am excited to see what you have in store for me.
In Your Glorious name I pray, Amen.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dreams Coming True.

I'm not even sure what's going on anymore.
My life is changing like crazy with each day.
And it's noticeable. Each day is different. Each day I am a different person.
These last three weeks I did an internship at the Rock of Roseville. Three days a week I went to these classes that helped with my relationship with Christ from the basics like organizing my day to the more complex things like the Kalam Cosmological Agruement. Other days we had intensives, and other group activities. Through these three weeks, my life has been flipped. And flipped again. And flipped again. It was crazy! I look back to three weeks ago and I see how stupid some of the stuff I was doing. I saw some of my strengths come out for the first time. He brought up spiritual gifts I didn't know I had. And showed me so much about Him I didn't know. It was such an emotional time, and now that I'm done with it, I am crazy tired, and exhausted, but at the same time, I can look to Him in thanks for all he has given me. Though it also brought up negative things I didn't realize, it was probably some of the best three weeks of my life.
On top of it being a crazy three weeks with the internship, I have been working at a daycare once-three times a week and nannying twice a week. I haven't had a day off except 4th of July, which I had a crazy long day. I've worked or had meetings every day since. Today I have a wedding. "Days off" just aren't an option anymore.
Yesterday was one of the most emotional days for me. I haven't let tears out for a while, and with some stuff that went on yesterday everything let out. And I am so very thankful that I did. There is a new freedom over me, I can feel it. I can't wait to go home, and get rid of these random things that are just chains pulling me down. Three years of storing stuff- time for bonfire! As soon as I get rid of these memories, and notes, and trinkets, I will truly be a free and happy person.

But dreams coming true? What does that even mean? You may be thinking "Emma- what you're saying right now isn't connecting with your title.."

Here: let me connect the dots for you!

What is my dream?
My dream is to go to Africa.
Well guys, I leave for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 106 days!
Yes. That dream is coming true!

"But Emma, that doesn't make sense with what you said!"

Going to Ethiopia, my life is gonna change. I will be a totally different person when I come back.
Over this last month, I have cleared up and taken care of (I think at least) everything in my past. Why would I want to be a different person and come back to America and have to deal with all the same crap? As of now, I won't. I'm a free being, under God's rule. He's watching over me. And that's all that matters. He will be with me through thick and thin. The only thing I can actually take to Ethiopia with me that I know won't get lost during traveling.

God is my dream.
I want to live my life the way God intended me too.
Now, I can do that.
With all the crap out of the way, I can hear his voice more clear than ever.
And that voice is telling me to go to Africa.

So here I go.

T-106 days.

Monday, May 14, 2012


I love that my parents are so loving and care about other people, and welcome them into our home.

The evolution of rooms in our house.

Five bedrooms. 4 kids and 2 parents. 2 kids in each room, parents room, guest room, office.
Five bedrooms. 4 kids, 2 nannies and 2 parents. 2 kids in each room, parents room, Nanny 1's room, Nanny 2's room. 
Five bedrooms. 4 kids and 2 parents. 2 kids in each room, parents room, guest room, office.
Seven bedrooms. 4 kids and 2 parents. Each kid with their own room, parents room, guest room, office. 
Seven bedrooms. 4 kids, cousin, and 2 parents. Each kid with their own room, parents room, Cousin's room, office. 
Seven bedrooms. 4 kids and 2 parents. Each kid with their own room, parents room, guest room, office. 
Seven bedrooms. 3 kids and 2 parents. Each kid with their own room, parents room, 2 guest rooms, office. 
Seven bedrooms. 2 kids and 2 parents. Each kid with their own room, parents room, 3 guest rooms, office. 
Seven bedrooms. 4 kids and 2 parents. 2 kids with their own room, 2 kids share, parents room, 2 guest rooms, office. 
Seven bedrooms. 5 kids and 2 parents. 3 kids with their own room, 2 kids share, parents room, guest room, office. 
Seven bedrooms. 4 kids and 2 parents. 2 kids with their own room, 2 kids share, parents room, 2 guest rooms, office.
Seven bedrooms. 5 kids and 2 parents. Each kid with their own room, parents room, office.
Seven bedrooms. 4 kids and 2 parents. 2 kids with their own room, 2 kids share, parents room, 2 guest rooms, office.
Seven bedrooms. 5 kids and 2 parents. Each kid with their own room, parents room, office.

My mom also had a conversation with Tsehay about if our last sister needs to move home, or if someone else needs to stay with us, and how we would always make room. 

Between sisters moving out and back in, the nannies who used to live with us, and my cousin who lived with us for a while, our rooming situation isn't always staying constant. 
Even now as the kids just split up, my sisters are switching rooms, because one needs the bigger room. 
My parents have the biggest hearts ever. I hope that when I grow up, I will be able to be as generous as they are. 
I have the best parents ever. End of story. ;)

Sunday, April 29, 2012


I'm coming to the end of a stage of life.
My high school life will be done in about 23 days. 
I graduate May 20.
And what do you know?
My whole plan has been completely changed in the past few weeks. 

My plan for the past few months/year has been to go to Sierra in the fall, do the basic courses, and when I was ready, transfer to Sac State and apply for the nursing program to become an Emergency Room Nurse. 

Not anymore. 

I don't think I'm gonna go to school..
I think I'm gonna get a job, and start saving all the money I get and turn around and go to Africa for a few months. 

If you have known me for any length of time, like really known me.. you would know that Africa has always been on my heart. And about a year ago, I thought that Tsehay and Fekadu coming home was my Africa dream coming true. 

But now? 


I have a new dream.
Or is it the same dream?
I want to go help out at an orphanage. 
I want to visit Africa.
And not just for some short 2 week trip or whatever.
I want to go
I want to build relationships with the people, with the children. 

My dad says he has a connection, and I know he does.
This would be super exciting to see it all work out.
Until then, I will keep meditating on Jesus, and try to find out what he really wants me to do with my life! 

James 1:27 says to look after the worlds orphans and widows... 

Is this my calling?

More to come.

Fast Day 37-40...WAY LATE!

So I have had the last few of these typed out for a while, but haven't posted them.. Instead of posting 4 different ones, I just combined.

Fast Day 37 
Sunday; February 19

Forgiveness is a major struggle for me. I don't like it when something wrong is done to me (who does?) and I don't want to let it go. I hold grudges, and I can hold them for years. But on the other hand, if I did something wrong, I hate it when people don't forgive me! It just annoys me and I don't feel like I deserve it just because I apologized. Over the past few months, God has really placed forgiveness towards those in my past on my heart. I have been trying so hard to forgive them. For some people it came easier for others. I am still working on forgiving some. And I am working on not holding grudges anymore. 

"Forgive and forget" is what they tell you. 
I don't think forgetting it will do you any good. 

My view is that just because you forgive someone does not mean you have to trust them again. Forgive everyone, trust only those who earn your trust back. 

God forgave us. 
Why should we not forgive others?

Luke 6:37 "..forgive, and you will be forgiven." 

Dear Jesus, 
Thank you for forgiving us. Please help us to forgive others. 

In Your Name we pray, 

Fast Day 38
Monday; February 20
Peer Pressure

1 Corinthians 15:33 "Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals."

Peer pressure sucks. 
The world puts such a burden for teenagers to fit in. 

Why fit in when you can stand out? I like that idea better. 
Be a light to those in the darkness. Don't sink to their level.

Lord, help us not give in to what the world has to offer, for we know that you have more to offer than we could ever imagine. Amen.

Fast Day 39
Tuesday; February 21
"Fake" Friends

Don't surround yourself with people who are only pretending to be your friends. 
It's as simple as that. 

Father God, give us wisdom, and discernment, so we know who to trust. Help us break off unhealthy friendships, and give us the right mind in seeing who we need to keep close. Amen.

Fast Day 40
Wednesday, February 22


Dear Lord Jesus, 
Thank you so much for taking our burdens. Thank you for making us new. Thank you for giving us life. Thank you for choosing us. Thank you.. Thank you.. Thank you..

The 40 Day fast is now over. Blog will continue, but more about life and Jesus and the way he is showing himself to me, than just certain topics each day. 

Until next time...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fast Day 36

Saturday; February 18 

Ephesians 6:11-18 
(11) Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. (12) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (13) Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you maybe able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (14) Stand firm then with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, (15) and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. (16) In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (17) Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 
(18) And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people. 
This Saturday, we were at camp. When writing this out I was thinking of how crazy important out armor is, even if we are in a place like camp. The devil is still there. And we still need to be on guard. I was majorly attacked this year in a few ways AT camp. Not before. Not after. But AT camp. (Well, yes I was attacked before and after too but..you know what I mean.) At camp I was emotionally drained, and there was a time when I just wanted to be left alone. I lost my appetite, and just felt like I was going to be sick. Luckily I have friends who can tell somethings wrong, and I got it all out and I felt better. All that being said- YOU NEED YOUR ARMOR no matter where you are! Just because you are at church, or surrounded by 'church people' does not by any means mean that you can let your guard down even a little bit. The stronger you are, the more the devil wants to destroy you. He will take your weakest points and target you there! 

So Lord I pray we will remember to keep you with us every day! I pray that we will remember to put on our armor daily, so that we will be strong in you and be able to handle attacks that come our way. Lord I ask for protection over our lives. Help us be strong men and women of God!

We love you. 

Bible man reminds us to always put on our armor. ;)

Fast Day 35

February 17; Friday


I thank God every day for my churches. I attend two, Redeemer and The Rock. My family attends Redeemer, and as an individual I attend the Rock. Both churches are equally amazing!

Lord I pray you come in and encounter us as at church! I pray that Your presence will be visible in every service, and people would be drawn to the people of the church to find out what is different, and then they will start coming to church! Help our church make Your church grow! Jesus we love you and we cannot wait until your return!

Help us Jesus!

Fast Day 34

Thursday; February 16


I wouldn't be who I am today if it wasn't for other people. Everyone is influenced by other people in one way or another. Growing up, grown ups tell you "Don't let other people influence you on how you live your life." Well, are they not influencing you by saying that?

Well I'm proud to say that yes, i have indeed been influenced by people. Teachers, Leaders, Parents.

So God, I just thank you for my teachers. I thank you for the knowledge and life skills they have given me through my school years. I thank you that I have been lucky to have good teachers and such. 

Thank you oh so much for the leaders I have been given; 202, PB, and their wives. Pastors at my two churches. And the leaders I have had through the years. 
202 and his wife have been there for me since day 1 when I was the new girl to the youth group. I am so beyond appreciative of them, for they has been one of the very few constants for the last 7 years. Thank you Jesus for the amazing leadership abilities you have put in them. Thank you for putting them in my life. Thank you Jesus for their family. And I pray that you continue to bless their cute little family. 
I have been at the youth group longer than PB (and his wife), but things changed when they showed up. Youth kids are more on fire for God now than ever, and it is most definitely due to the fact that PB knows how to get the word across and bring heaven down! Ha. They both are such an inspiration, and have helped mold me into who I am today, maybe not directly, but they are definitely a part of it! Thank you Lord for an amazing youth pastor like PB and for his wife. Thank you for the affect they have had on my life. Bless their family!
Thank you Lord for the leaders you have put in my life! I couldn't have asked for better leaders. They are absolutely amazing.
Thank you Jesus! 

My parents also have had a huge influence on my life. They have both always been there for me. They have both taught me life lessons. And most importantly they have both influenced my walk with Christ. They have done nothing but encourage a relationship with God. I am beyond thankful for them.

Bless these people... 

Friday, February 24, 2012


I wrote this about a year ago. I reread it, made some slight changes, and decided to post it here...
(I will get back to the 40 days, I promise!) 

I'm not a good writer but bear with me here... 
Rereading this after I have written it out, I am very scatter-brained, but please try and stick with me. 

God really put this on my heart tonight, and I felt like I need to share. 


When I saw this word, those were the first three words that popped in my head. 


Thinking about this hits me hard because I struggled with my looks for a while, and all the imperfections I saw in my body. 
My hair is too thick, I was too skinny, My nose is pointed...

I'm gonna start this with a verse.. 

John 3:16 
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son. That whoever believed in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. 

God cared so much for everyone, no matter what you look like, have done, etc., that He gave His ONE son for all of us. I don't know about you, but that's kinda crazy! Do you realize how much he cares for you? No matter what you've done or look like? No matter how many times you have failed or done wrong? Through everything, God loves you the same, which is still more love than you can recieve from any number of humans on this earth can give you. 

No the definition of an 'ion'....
"An atom or molecule with a net electric charge due to the loss or gain of one or more electrons." 

An ion is an imperfect atom. 

God even made these little tiny ions imperfect. On purpose. Let's go a little bit farther? An atom is part of a while. All these tiny atoms make up one big thing.
People are just like atoms. We all work together to make the whole [universe] work. Even those ions work with the whole! These ions are imperfect, but work perfectly, just as any other atom would. 

Matthew 7:3 
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brothers eye, but pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

People these days look at someone and see all the imperfections and things they have fone wrong, but they don't bother to turn around and look inside themselves.. 

1 Corinthians 6:19 
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Sporot, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own. 

God made YOU. God thinks you are PERFECT. YOUR BODY IS A TEMPLE! So why does everyone thing it is necessary for plastic surgery, loads and loads of make up, etc.? 


God made you, you. He loves that freckle on your cheek bone. He loves the way your hair is big and frizzy! He loves that you only have a dimple on the right side of your face!
He sees you as perfect. 

I get asked often why I don't wear make up everyday, and why I don't do my hair all the time.. If yo uknow me well, you'd know I'm a no make up/hair in a messy bun type of girl for the most part.. (Yes, I like getting all dolled up, it's fun, but not all the time.)

Does God not see you every night?
When you take your make up off and let your hair down? 

God sees you. 
God thinks you are beautiful.
God thinks you are to die for. 

And because he thought that, God sent his one and only sone to die for YOU

Take out the 'ion'. 

What's left?

Don't look at this as imperfect... Add an apostrophe and a space and what do you get?

I'm perfect.

There's not really anything else to say about it.

I'm perfect. 

I'm perfect. 
I'm perfect. 

In God's eyes, YOU ARE PERFECT.

1 Peter 3:3-4 

Do not let your adorning be external-the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear- but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.

Proverbs 3:15 
She is more precious than jewels, and you desire can compare with her. 

People let the opinion of man affect them too much. DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM. 
For two reasons: 
~He is NOT God. 

~Every mand out there is different . Odds are one will appreciate you for what you look like. If he doesn't, that's shallow and he is NOT the one for you. 

To end this out- If a man really cares about you, it will not matter what you look like. He will look at your insides. Your heart. Your soul. Your mind. If he is worth it, he will define your beauty from what he sees in your heart, not your outward appearances.

1 Samuel 16:7 

People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 

Last thing- 
Someone once told me this: 
Most of the time; you only notice flaws on yourself! Because you know what you look like when your skin is perfectly clean, and your hair all done. Which is why when there is one little blemish people freak out! And other people only notice because you either a) are too insecure about it or b) try too hard to cover it up, only making it more noticeable. 


For what you look like. For what you have done. 

Don't listen to mans opinions.

So Lord, I pray over everyone struggling with their beauty. Help them see themselves exactly how you see them. Help them know they are loved, despite everything that has gone on. Show them an appreciation for themselves. Help them know who they are in You. You have designed us perfectly. Help us all believe that. Thank you Daddy! We love you! 

If anyone needs to talk about this, find a trusted adult. There are people in this world who wil help you, who think you are beautiful, and who love you through everything. 

You are loved by our Creator! The man who made our universe took special time to mold and create you! 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fast Day 33

Wednesday; February 15

Lord I pray for everyone with an uncertain future. I pray for each and every person who is out of work. I pray that they will be able to provide for their family in some way. I pray for people who are sick, in the hospital. Those who have been told you have 'x' amount of time left...I rebuke that in the name of Jesus! We ask for healing in these bodies! We know you can do all! I pray for healing of the heartbroken. I pray for healing of all hearts all over the world. I pray for healing of bones. I pray for healing of spirit, soul, and mind. 

You can do all! 

Fast Day 32

Tuesday; February 14 

Today's prayer challenge was to pray for the two girls I'm fasting with. 

Allison and Kait. 

I haven't known Allison that long, less than a year. She's three years younger than me. But that dosen't matter. It definitely gets hard at times. I want someone who's been through what I have, or something close to what I have, but her being a freshmen in high school, it gets tough. But everything works together for our good. Our friendship is great. She's always there, for any little thing I need. She brings me yummy food on Fridays, and what girl doesn't love food. ;) I love the girl to death. 

Lord, I thank you for Allison. I thank you for our friendship. I pray for our friendship. I pray it won't fail like a lot of friendships have. I pray it will blossom, and only continue to get better. I pray anything we have between each other will be solved, and we can start fresh. 
I pray you show her your heart. Show her that who she is is exactly who you want her to be. Show her the love you have for her. Lord I ask that you begin to show Allison her true identity. Erase the false identity the world has put on her, and show her the identity YOU have for her. Protect her heart from the lies of this world. Use her Jesus in ways that promote your Kingdom. 

I met Kait 3 and a half years ago. We were instant friends, after we got over the new girl/drama queen boy drama..no surprise. ;) We grew into the best of friends. We have had SO many fights. It's ridiculous. But neither of us can stay mad for more than a few days at the most. She has always been there for me! Through thick and thin. We don't hang out often, but when we do, we have the absolute best of times! We seriously go through about the same problems at the same times through life.. Family problems, guy problems.. We've both been through about the same stuff. It's pretty crazy! I can talk to her about anything and know that my secrets are safe with her. We are basically the same person split into two bodies. She's the best you could ask for. I love her oh so much! :)

Father God, I thank you for the friend you have given me in Kait. I thank you for our friendship. I thank you that we have a 3 year strong friendship. I pray that our friendship won't end, and that it will only get better! 
I pray for Kait, as she is going into a new stage in life. I pray you will bless her college years. I pray for favor for getting into classes. I pray that through everything she will not lose sight in you! Lord, I thank you for the amazing heart for you she has. I pray you will show her your love more and more! Use her Jesus in ways that promote your Kingdom. 

(Classic Kait, Allison, and Emma..
Cheesy. Gorgeous. Not paying Attention.
They sure know how to make me look great. -_-)

Thank you Jesus for putting these girls in my life! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fast Day 31

Monday; February 13


Look into the eyes of the people of the world. 
Look deep into their eyes. 
What do you see? 

A lot of the time people on the outside seem all bubbly and happy! But you look a little farther, and get to know some people, and you see depression, sadness, and fear. People have gotten really good at hiding their feelings. People put on masks and pretend to be perfectly happy when they aren't. It makes me really sad just seeing it all. 

Lord I pray you will bless everyone who has sadness in their hearts for any reason. I pray people dealing with a death of a family member, or close friend, will be find that filling that hole in their heart with You is the only way to go about things. I pray for the heartbroken. I pray for those who just had an abortion. I pray everyone with any sadness in their hearts would just be delivered from the sadness, and filled with joy and happiness. I ask that the Holy Spirit fills these people from the inside out. Lord visit them. And help them to be truly happy. 

We know you can do all. 

Fast Day 30

Sunday; February 12 

Today was a friend's 18th birthday. 

Along with his sister and mom, we put on a surprise party for him. 

It actually worked out super well. 

I am beyond thankful for friends. 
Seeing all the people that came to support my friend, it made me grateful for all of my friends. 

I got to relax a little bit during the party. 
I got to talk to my friends, and we took lots of pictures, and I just had a blast. 
We played the piano and sang songs. 
For a while we sat around and worshipped. Worshipping with friends is the absolute best. 

Thank you God for good friends. I thank you for your love. I thank you for the freedom to worship you. I pray you will continue to let these friendships grow. And I pray that everyone in our youth group will grow a stronger relationship with you. Open peoples eyes in this week before winter camp. Prepare our hearts Lord, for radical change this weekend. Prepare us for a crazy encounter with the Holy Spirit! 

We miss you Jesus, and we want you to return! 


Monday, February 13, 2012

Fast Day 24-29

The Lord's Prayer

For these 6 days, we dissected the Lord's prayer, and prayed it over our lives. 

Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be they Name. 
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. 
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Each day we took one of these statements, meditated on it, and prayed it over our lives. 
(I figured one longerish blog post all about the same topic would be better than 6 different ones..)

Monday; February 6
Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be they Name.

I want nothing but to make your name known. I want to be able to make your name holy. Spreading the gospel is all I want done through my life. Shine through me! Use me to spread your name! 

Tuesday; February 7 
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Lord do what you please with my life. I want to show your light all whee I go. Thank you for giving us the freedom. I want your will to be done with my life. Here I am Lord. I give my life to you. Do as you please! 

Wednesday; February 8
Give us this day our daily bread.

Thank you Lord for everything you have given me. Thank you for supplying my family with food, shelter, and clothing. Thank you for all you have given me. 

Thursday; February 9
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. 

Thank you Jesus for forgiveness. And help us forgive others. We don't want to live through life with our sins. We don't want to have anger and hatred in our hearts. Help us forgive, and give us the courage to seek forgiveness from others. Help us forgive others.

Friday; February 10
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

Temptation is a huge part of our daily lives. And it absolutely sucks. Lord, help us not fall into temptation. Help us be strong enough to walk away from our temptations. Help us avoid all that we can.

Saturday; February 11
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

I ONLY want to bring you glory, God! When people see me, I only want your name to be praised! Take out everything in our lives that we put before you! Fill every gap in our lives with You!