Friday, September 9, 2011


Sitting in the living room of my new apartment, I've been reflecting on change in my life. Major change. Life change. And, I notice a consistent pattern: ease. One of the things Nathan and I have prayed for over and over is God’s timing. We know and trust that His timing is always perfect (even if it isn’t always when we think it would be perfect), and I see the perfection of His timing with the ease of these changes.

July 2003
The summer I turned 18 was exciting and terrifying. I would be moving out of Mom and Dad’s house and starting college in the Fall. My entire life, I have been a homebody - I never really loved being far from home - and was nervous about living away from my parents. To my surprise, I loved it. Sure, I missed Mom and Dad and the tiny little town I grew up in, but I loved being a student and meeting new people. I can remember thinking at one time, “This is right. It was time for me to go.”

December 2006
Three and a half years later, I packed my bags and watched my family disappear in my rearview mirror as I headed to make a new home in Minnesota. I thought I was crazy and seriously considered turning around a few times, but I kept on. The transition didn’t happen without snags, and I knew life would be easier for me (job, housing, etc.) if I moved back to Iowa with my parents, but I also knew that it was right for me to be where I was. And, Minnesota became my home for the next 4.5 years.

May 2009
By far the most exciting time in my life: Nathan and I were preparing to be married. I received a lot of advice from friends, family and...a lot of other people who thought I would need marriage advice. I was about to experience the biggest change in my life, and I was beyond excited. I was well-aware that the first year is often the hardest and that there were going to be a lot of things to which we would have to adjust and it would be hard at times, but I was in for a surprise. It was...a dream. We didn’t have to “adjust” to the other person; we worked well together. We didn’t argue; ever (if there ever was something that maybe could have led to an argument, we talked it over before things could ever get to the point of causing an argument). We never had any awkward or embarrassing moments; we understood the love we had for each other. I have never accidentally introduced myself with my maiden name or signed it on a document. I could go on, but really all I’m saying is that the “situations” for which I was given advice never came up. We had an easy and smooth transition to married life, and we are so very thankful to God for the way He prepared us and protected us for and in that time.

August 2011
Because of our human understanding and faults, we wondered if this day would ever come. Here, I find myself sitting in our apartment in Ames, Iowa! We have longed to be here for years but have always said, “The only way it can happen is if God does it.” And, He did. We were thrilled when Nathan received a job offer at Sauer Danfoss...then the fear set in. A lot of change was about to happen in our lives and while we were excited about where it was taking us, there definitely was some uneasiness in the process as well: leaving our first home together, Nathan starting a new job, me not having a job, leaving behind family and friends... I cried for about two straight weeks leading up to moving day and for about the first hour of the drive down here, but here we are, and it is right. This is home. This fits. This is good.

Reflecting on change in my life, I have noticed this common theme when I wait on God and trust His perfect timing: a rightness with the change, a sense of ease in the midst of it all, and an overwhelming peace that only comes from my Jesus.

Thank you, Lord, for your sovereignty and perfection and provision. You know me better than I know myself and You know what You’re doing with my life. I rest in Your plan and Your presence and Your peace.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Thinking back on all of our experiences on the cruise, snorkeling was by far my favorite activity (with walking along the beach on Coco Cay a close second). The reason for snorkeling being my favorite, however, didn’t occur to me until I had returned home...

I realized that the reason I loved snorkeling so much was because many of my childhood fantastical dreams were coming true. As a young girl, my favorite movie was The Little Mermaid. I dreamed of being Ariel: living, swimming and being friends with the fish. I loved the ocean and everything in it, but I had never even seen it. The first time I actually stepped foot in the ocean (not counting the Gulf of Mexico) wasn’t until I was 21 years old, but I’ve always had an inexplainable love for the ocean. Maybe my dreams of being Ariel were childish, but so many of them came true as I was swimming alongside and through entire schools of fish, as I watched the coral (sea fans) sway in the ocean waves, looked into the eyes of a shark and watched moments later as it swam peacefully under my feet. I felt a strange freedom as I glided through the sea never lifting my face out of the water. I was amazed by everything I saw and felt and when I think back to those things, I am awed by the beauty of my Creator.

The pictures I have don’t even come close to the beauty of what I saw and can in no way convey what I experienced. It was...incredible.

School of Blue Tangs and Sergeant Majors.

Parrot Fish


Blacktip Reef Shark

Gray Reef Shark - We did a lot of research and decided to go through this company for our snorkeling trip. Highly, highly recommend them if you're ever in Key West.