Things are changing all the time. Little things, big things, planned, unexpected, and ignored things… nothing stays the same in life. And I may have mentioned this at some point in one of my blog posts before, but I’ll say it again; I love change.

I don’t know if it’s because of my relatively turbulent childhood or some psychological imbalance or just my personality or what, but I do know that I get bored very quickly. I burn out easily at work and school, I look for ways to make small (and big) changes in my life, and I find it hard to be satisfied in one place for too long. Honestly, one of the only things that I’ve never gotten sick of is my husband, and I think that is truly a miracle from God. Other than that, commitment seems to be a definite struggle for me.

Even in my relationship with God, I have yet to find a permanent solution to the ebb and flow of my spiritual health. I go from being super close to the Lord to feeling distant and apathetic. It’s a cycle that I continuously seem to follow and appear unable to control. Even in the worst of times, though, I’ve never thought about leaving Jesus for something else, and that is all because of Him. He will never let me go, and I’m thankful for that. But still, I know that I’m not living up to the promises that He has to offer for a full and joy-filled life. Unfortunately, that is something that I am still working through and may continue to work through for a very long time.

Besides affecting my relationship with God, my constant need for change and lack of staying power is often burdensome in other areas of my life as well. But whether it’s a blessing (because life is going to change on me a lot) or a curse (because some things in life are meant to be long-term), it is what it is. This is how I am. I am the girl who needs change. And right now, my husband and I are on the verge of making a big change that might be the first one I can remember in a long time that actually has some sting to it.

Recently, my husband has decided to leave school and pursue starting his own business. With that decision comes the fact that, if his business succeeds, he will be receiving a decent salary from it. It also means that we won’t be going to study abroad in Spain, because even if his business doesn’t work out and he needs to return to school, he would be finishing his degree at a different college. All of this to say that we are no longer tied down to our current location either financially or through school, and once his business is off the ground we will be ready to buy a house wherever we want.

We deliberated a long time about our options: building a dome house as we originally planned in either California, Arizona, or perhaps even Tennessee; buying a condo in Orange County, where we currently live; or buying a house within our budget, which automatically ruled out Orange County. Right now, we are pretty certain that we will be buying a house in Riverside County within the next four months. We found a city that we really like with plenty of nice houses for sale, and we have just started the process of seriously searching for the right one.

We’re really excited about this! The more I think about it, the more I feel that I was made to be a mother and a wife, primarily. I’m so excited to be that much closer to having our own house where we can start a family in a few years. And while the location that we’ve chosen is pretty optimal because it’s not too far from our family and friends (only an hour and a half to two hours), it just started to hit me last night that it would mean saying goodbye to a lot of things that I love. Namely, my church, my small group, and possibly my friends will all be either no longer part of my life or greatly diminished (because how often are we really going to see each other when we live over an hour away?) When I realized that I’d be saying goodbye to so much, my heart broke a little. How can I leave my church, the only church I’ve ever been to where I feel like I belong? How can I leave my small group, those girls who have become my sisters and closest friends? How can I be okay with not seeing my friends except on rare occasions? None of these questions have easy answers.

As my husband and I journey through the next several months, we’ll be working towards our goal of owning a home together and becoming even more independent as a family of two. There will be moments of excitement, and many things to look forward to. But there will also be pain, and trying to say goodbye to things that mean so much to us. This is what change is all about. It’s exciting and joyful, but also and difficult and sad. The only consolation is that I know that it is all part of God’s master plan for us. I know that this is one step on the road leading to awesome things for my husband and I, and that keeps me feeling optimistic. I can’t wait to see what He has in store! 

…But Not Really

So as you may know, I went on a retreat with my church the week before last, and my last blog post was about how great that was and how different I felt afterwards. This post is about how I feel now, a week and a half later. And that’s basically like a big hypocrite.

Last week was a very hard week for me. My biggest babysitting client was traveling out of town, and since her husband works longer hours than she does, that meant longer hours for me as well. I worked four ten hour days (sometimes longer) in a row, and in the middle of that I felt pretty miserable. Let’s be honest; working ten hours in a day is not the worst thing, especially if the work is something like babysitting. It’s hard work, but it’s a job that many parents do 24/7, and it’s certainly manageable. Besides, as my good friend pointed out to me in the middle of my complaining, it’s good money and my husband and I could definitely use it.

Nevertheless, during the week I felt like such a victim. I dreaded going to work each day, especially as the “shifts” moved earlier and earlier. I lost my patience with the child that I was watching countless times, and at those points it was all I could do to deposit him into his playpen and go sit in the other room with my head in my hands. I counted the hours, minutes, and seconds until his father would return and I could go home and rest. And at the end of the week, I collected my $400 paycheck with a feeling of slight satisfaction, but mostly wondering “was that really worth it?”

Overall, this past week has done a great job of showing me just how strong (or should I say weak) my newfound joy in the Lord really is. It couldn’t even stand up to a little bit of extra work. What does that say about me, writing this blog every week and trying to point people to Jesus? Surely I’m not fit for this job.

But that’s what God has called me to do. He gave me skills and abilities for a reason, and then helped me find a small way to use them for His glory. Writing this blog every week is something that I do out of love for Him. I do enjoy it, yes, but it’s also work. And I am more than happy to do that if it has even the slightest chance of encouraging somebody in their spiritual journey! But how do I reconcile the fact that the things I say and the things I do are often quite different?

Well, for one thing I can be honest about it. I can write about it and share that with my readers. So here it is; readers, I want you to know that I’m a seriously messed up person. I truly believe in everything that I write on here, but I often can’t live up to my own advice. I go through periods of doubt, anger, and dissatisfaction with God just like anybody else. I don’t always rely on God as my rock in life, and I often try to find joy in other things. I’m not always kind, patient, and loving towards others; I can be pretty darn mean when I want to. So if reading this blog has made you think that I have it all together, then I’m sorry to tell you that I don’t. I’m just as messed up as the rest.

But that’s all okay. Because the next thing I can do is listen to Jesus. When Jesus hung on that cross and died for me, He told me that none of that matters. He took all of my mess and issues and they died with Him then and there. They no longer matter to God because Jesus covered them with a cloak of invisibility— His very own blood. And because of that, God doesn’t even see them. They’re just plain old gone.

So what do I do with that now? Where does that leave me? The answer is simple; it frees me.

Because of Jesus, I am free to move on from my issues. That doesn’t mean I still don’t struggle with them— I do. But it means that even when I struggle with them, I don’t have to feel stuck. I won’t always be this way. Jesus freed me to move past my issues, encounter new ones, and move past those as well, on and on until the day I die. Through all of those internal struggles I learn something, growing closer to God and stronger spiritually. And even in the middle of them, even when I’m writing a blog post about joy in the Lord and feeling the complete opposite, I am free to keep trying. Even though I fail, I’m able to get up and try again to be better (that’s called conviction), because Jesus gave me unlimited “get out of jail free” cards. My failures don’t hold me back because He’s with me every day and He fills me with amazing potential; reaching it is a lifelong journey that ends in Heaven where I’ll finally be perfect.

Right now, I’m sorry to say that I don’t exactly feel excited about life. I feel stuck, bored, pointless… anything but joyful. But God has promised to never leave me, and I can hold on because I know that He will pull me out of this rut. I know that He made me for a purpose and that He has great plans for my life, even when I can’t feel it. Even though last week I wrote about feeling changed from the retreat and this week I’m writing about how it all faded away so quickly, I don’t have to let that discourage me. Jesus took that failure for me long before it even happened, and left me with hope for the future. I will keep going and growing, because Jesus freed me to.


My husband and I just came back from a four day retreat with our church in Yosemite, and it was just completely amazing. Several really awesome things happened there, and I wanted to share them with you.

First of all, I learned so much about God. I realized that God not only knows me 100% and completely, inside and out, but he accepts me. Like most people, I have walls that I put up to keep others out. Those walls are built up in levels; there is a level that I let my friends past, another level that I let my small group past, and the second to last level that I let Cory past, for example. The very last wall is like a thin sheet— and inside of that are my innermost thoughts and feeling. Nobody can get into that deepest level of me because nobody can read my mind or fully know and understand me. Nobody except God, that is.

I learned that even though I sometimes pretend that God doesn’t know every last intimate detail about me, he does. There is nothing that I can hide from him. In fact, he knows me better than I even know myself. But the great thing about that is the next part; he accepts and loves me for everything that he knows about me. Having a friend who accepts and loves you for who you really are is a great feeling. Having a relationship with Jesus is like that to the millionth degree!

Another really awesome thing that I learned about God this weekend is that he is constantly accessible. Honestly, it was more of a reminder than anything because I already knew that, but I really soaked it in on this retreat. I was struggling with feeling that I don’t really have a best friend; don’t get me wrong, my husband is definitely my best friend and I also have a few very close girl friends that I absolutely love. But there is something to be said for having that one person who isn’t your significant other and who’s like a sister (or brother if you’re a guy) to you. I used to have that, and I miss it. And even though God doesn’t really qualify as a sister to me, He is one person who is with me through everything, deeply understands and accepts me, and who I know I can call on at any time of the day or night. He actually is the best friend any person could have! And as it turns out, all of those songs I’ve been singing about Him are true; He is all that I need. Other things like a wonderful husband, close friends, and relationships with family are all awesome and super important. But strictly speaking, I don’t need them. All that I need is God, and He will never leave me. So I’m pretty much set! Anything else I get on top of that is a bonus.

Another awesome thing that happened during this retreat was that Cory and I got to fulfill one of the purposes of marriage; being an example of Christ’s love to others through our love for each other. Several people commented during the trip about how great they thought it was that we were on the retreat together, supporting each other and growing spiritually together. But the best part for me was when Cory got sick. As funny as that sounds, him getting sick allowed me to take care of him, and other people on the trip noticed and were surprisingly impressed by that. I say “surprisingly” because I find it interesting that people are surprised when a wife takes care of her husband. I mean, shouldn’t that be a given? But anyway, several people were impressed by how I took notes for him during the service that he had to miss and went to check on him in his cabin before going to bed. Even though these were little things that took very little effort on my part, and were quite natural considering I love my husband, I was still happy to be an example for others.

I’ve saved for last the best thing that happened to me on this trip. Plain and simple, God changed my heart. To be honest, before this I’ve always been a little bit secretly anti-social. As in, I really did not enjoy being around people who weren’t my friends. In fact, I pretty much hated it. Any time I had to spend time around people that I didn’t know very well (or at all), I dreaded it. Parties, social gatherings, and even family functions sometimes were all no fun for me. But something changed in me during this retreat, and it basically boils down to this; God loves every person.

If God loves each and every person that I come across, then I should too. At the very least, I should find it to be a pure gift when I can do something nice for somebody. Just think about it; something as small as smiling at somebody or saying “hello” can brighten their day in ways that I don’t even know. As a Christian, I know that God puts people in my path each and every day who desperately need Him, just hoping that I will be loving enough to reach out and help. And when I do, I am fulfilling my God-given purpose in life. What could be more thrilling than that?

My life looks a little different now that I’ve returned from the retreat. For one thing, I talk to God constantly throughout the day now. I like to think of it as text messaging Jesus. He is my best friend after all! Why not be in constant communication with Him? Another thing is that I’m more joyful. I feel more aware of everything God has blessed me with, and I experience joy when I thank Him for those things. I can look at life more on a day-to-day basis, focusing on how I can live for the Lord today instead of on what I’m not looking forward to or what I want for the future. Living in the present makes me joyful!

Last, I have a greater passion for people. I see the desperate need that people have for Jesus and I want so badly to bring them to Him. There is just no life compared to life lived with the Lord, and there is no hope for the world or for eternal life with God without Jesus. I so badly wish that I could convince more people of that. But of course, that’s not my job; my job is just to show them Christ’s love, share His message if they are open to it, and let God do the rest. But I think that the greatest thing I learned in Yosemite was that my role is important. I can do something. I can love others. And that is something that I never want to underestimate again.

Oh Baby

Every so often, I come down with a powerful infection known as baby fever. Something usually triggers it, like something I saw in a movie, a pregnant woman, or in this case, people I know having babies. And once it strikes, I can’t stop thinking about wanting to have a baby myself.

There are so many reasons why I want to have a baby. The idea of Cory and I creating our own miniature version of us together is exciting. It’s something that will be just oursa new adventure for us to journey through together. Besides that, I love the idea of being a mother. Taking care of a child, my child, is one of the things that I feel I was made for. Guiding another human being through life is a challenge and a privilege that I am looking forward to taking on. Plus, I don’t know if there is any other thing you can do in life that will build as much character as being a parent will. Children can teach you patience, unconditional love, maturity, responsibility, self-sacrifice, gentleness, and so much more. What a wonderful tool that God gave us to make us more like him!

But I also know that there are, shall we say, disadvantages to being a parent. Children are incredibly demanding. As a babysitter/nanny, I am becoming more and more familiar with this concept. Children, particularly babies, need your constant attention. It is an all day, every day job. Not only do they need your constant attention but they need constant guidance as well. Babies are new to the world and as such, they don’t know what anything is. They love to touch and play with everything, and that can be terribly dangerous as well as destructive! So you have to try to teach them what is good and bad from a young age. And as they get older, I’m sure it only gets worse. Just think of the teenage years!

Besides demanding constant attention and guidance, children are downright expensive. Having a child would add a shocking number of expenses for my husband and I to support. It’s not just about the baby’s basic needs, like diapers and clothes. It extends to things like toys, special foods, babysitters, daycare, and preschool just in the early years. Then, as they grow older, the expenses start to include cool clothes, cool toys, and extracurricular activities. And that’s just for the kid’s direct needs and wants! There are also the increased costs of health insurance and healthcare, a bigger house, time and energy to clean up after them, etc. Not to mention down the road, when you might be expected to pay for a car, college, and a wedding. Having a kid certainly takes its toll!

So why do people do it? There must be a reason that makes it all worth it. Perhaps even some of the reasons that I gave for wanting to have one. Yes, I definitely see that there are incredible costs to having a child, and I certainly don’t underestimate the amount of hard work that it takes to be a parent. But despite all of that, I still want one. And when the time is right, I feel certain that my husband and I will have one (or two!).

Which brings me back to baby fever. I know that my wish to have a baby right now isn’t logical, and that it would not be responsible to act on it. That’s the tough thing about baby fever, isn’t it? You only get it when you aren’t ready to have a baby. Otherwise, it’s just called pregnancy!

So for now, my husband and I are waiting. Based on the current state of our lives, I would estimate that we have another year or two until having a baby becomes truly plausible. And honestly, I think that’s probably a good thing. We still value having time to enjoy our marriage, just the two of us, before we bring another person into the mix. We still need time to grow and mature before we can feel 100% prepared to have a baby. Most of all, we still need time to crank up our financial status and become fully independent from our own parents before we have our own dependent child!

Until this baby fever subsides, I’ll probably still be fantasizing about pregnancy, cribs, and little baby giggles. But that’s okay, because it gives me something to look forward to and it keeps me moving toward it. In the meantime, I’m enjoying being married to my wonderful husband and taking care of our fur-and-feather-babies together (our cat, Booda, and our cockatiel, Rocky! Sorry, Marley— you’re still my baby even though you can’t live with me right now.)


P.S. Congratulations Melissa & Scott! When I saw the pictures of you two and Bella, I practically cried with happiness. She’s just incredible, and I’m so thrilled for you! What a beautiful family you have. <3


A Place of Our Own

As you may know, my husband and I recently moved out of my parents’ house to our own apartment. We’ve been here for less than a month, but it already feels like home! This week, I wanted to write about what it means to me and my husband to finally have a place of our own, and how important independence is in a marriage.

When my husband and I decided to get married at 19, we knew that there would be some consequences, both positive and negative. We looked forward to living together, being officially married (since we’d already made the commitment in our hearts), and many other benefits that come with being married. But we also knew that we’d have to make sacrifices that most married couples don’t have to make. We knew that some people wouldn’t accept our decision easily, and that we’d probably receive a lot of criticism. At the time, we were both full-time students and nowhere near financially independent. We understood that we would have to live with either my parents or his for at least a couple of years (or so we thought, at the time). That was something that we accepted, because being married was worth it to us.

After we got married, we were totally excited to be able to live together! It didn’t matter to us that it was with my parents; we were just happy to be together. It was an exciting time, combining our things and learning how to live in such close proximity. We were (and still are) very grateful for our parents’ kindness in allowing us to live with them for so cheap— it was truly a blessing.

After a while, though, we started yearning for more independence. I think it’s natural for a married couple to want to get out on their own; the Bible talks about husbands and wives leaving their families to “cleave” together. And even though I believe that verse is talking mainly about a spiritual and physical combining of two people in marriage, I also think that there is a literal element to it. Part of the joy in getting married is the excitement of starting your own family of two together! You are still your parents’ children, of course, but now you are somebody’s husband or wife first. Your primary status is as a married individual. And what better way to assert that new status than by literally moving out of your parents’ home and into a new home with your spouse?

But when my husband and I started looking for apartments, we felt pretty hopeless. There was just no way that we could afford it, plain and simple. So we stopped looking (and then started again, and then stopped again, and then started again… you get the point). As things in our lives changed, we would become hopeful again and look at the numbers before realizing that we were still not quite there yet. So there were many periods of looking, giving up, and then looking again. Then one time when we looked, we excitedly realized that we were finally there! The numbers matched up and we were capable of moving out on our own.

Our lives had changed in a lot of big ways before we got to that point. They were changes that we made for various reasons in a slow process that finally led to where we are now. I left my university and started taking online classes part-time instead. I got one job babysitting, and then another and another, until my schedule was full. My husband also stopped taking classes full-time, but continued taking one class at the same university. He started working much more in his web design business. Our plans and dreams for the future changed, and we realized that we had some external assets at our disposal. I definitely believe that all of these things were part of a process that was carefully orchestrated by God in order to get us to where we are now. The greatest part is, the process isn’t even done yet. He’s still working on our lives, guiding us forward to bigger and better things!

So we finally moved out on our own and started the next great adventure in our lives together. And we absolutely love it! Living in our own apartment has so many great benefits. We can actually feel and act like an independent married couple. We get to make our own day-to-day decisions together, buy our own groceries, cook our own meals, decorate and clean, and everything else that’s involved in managing a home. I think it’s a lot of fun! Best of all, my husband and I are growing closer because of it. Something about it being just us two has made our marriage stronger and our day-to-day interactions more positive (not that they were bad before, but something doesn’t have to be bad for it to improve!) It’s just great.

I wanted to share this not to brag, but just simply to show how valuable independence is for a married couple, and to remember. Years down the road, I probably won’t relish cleaning the kitchen or buying groceries, but I do now because it’s new and exciting! I want to remember this feeling even when we’ve lived on our own for decades.

Here’s to enjoying the little things in life, and being excited about where you are now as well as where you’re going.


P.S. Rocky is here! My husband and I drove up to get him on Friday afternoon, and we’ve been enjoying him ever since. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, Rocky is my new cockatiel who I wrote about buying in my last post. Now he’s officially part of our family! I’ve attached two pictures of him, for your adoration. =P