Worship Encounter: The Israelites

I’m reading through the Bible (very slowly it seems), and I just love the Old Testament. I just finished Exodus and have entered into Leviticus. The book of Leviticus can be tough to get through. All the rules and laws of how to sacrifice an animal for specific offerings and what animal to use, how to sacrifice it, who can eat what part of it…etc can be a bit monotonous and hard to take in. The Bible truly has a bit of everything in it!

Even the last half of Exodus can feel a bit slow – when God is telling Moses how to build the tabernacle and all of the yarn and tools and material they will need and the dimensions that it should be and then add everything that needs to go inside of it like the ark of the covenant, oil burning lamps, tables…etc and it can feel the same way Leviticus does. But there is importance to all of it. God cares about where He dwells, and so should we. (Although I am thankful that Jesus became the spotless lamb on our behalf for our sin so we no longer have to do animal sacrifices every time we sin. Instead, we can have a personal relationship with Him and that is pretty amazing!)

(*Side Note: The Bible Project videos are super helpful in seeing the importance of some of these books that can be hard to understand. For Leviticus, the suggested videos are the Read Scripture: Leviticus and the video on Atonement is spot on!)

So in Exodus 25 – 31, the Israelites are at the beginning stages of building the tabernacle and commanding Moses to tell the people to bring their contributions.

…From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me”. Exodus 25:2

and in Leviticus 7:37-38 this is how the chapter is ended for these specific offerings…

“This is the law of the burnt offering, of the grain offering, of the sin offering, of the guilt offering, of the ordination offering, and of the peace offering, which the Lord commanded Moses on Mount Sinai, on the day that he commanded the people of Israel to bring their offerings to the Lord, in the wilderness of Sinai.”

So what does this have to do with Worship?

As in Exodus, we all have a contribution to offer the Lord. The Lord doesn’t just ask contributions from the Israelites but from all of His people. If we are His, part of our response to His love is to offer our love back to Him. He has given us all gifts and talents – that He is due the honor and glory for.

And just like in Leviticus, sometimes we are in seasons that feel like we are wandering in the Wilderness. It can be hard to see God’s purpose in our life, or to see His hand, but His provision is always there, His presence is always with us. But even in the midst of the wilderness, we can give our offerings. Whether that is food, time, finances, work of our hands, belongings…etc. God is still worthy no matter what season we are in of our all.

So whatever you can give, no matter how much or how little – give it. God will be pleased, and you will be blessed.


Happy New Year – 2018

I’ve come to hate cliche’s. But the thing about cliche’s, is that the majority of times they have a reason and a purpose and a lot of their purpose is good.

It seems rather cliche to me to write a New Year post, to make resolutions…because it’s what is expected by most people at this time of year. But there is nothing wrong with making resoutions, and wanting to better yourself or make changes. What is life without change being a part of it? You have to keep things exciting somehow!

My community does this thing each year, where they pick a WORD for the year. This word is something that they really want to learn/strive in, in the upcoming year. It becomes a mantra, a reminder, something to pursue.

Over the past couple of years, I have chosen to NOT participate in deciding on a word. I’ve allowed hurts and scars on my heart to keep me from opening up, wholly. I knew that choosing a word, would mean that I had to share with people and be held accountable and live up to something. Well, that’s not real appealing to someone who is trying to hide, and is fearful of pretty much everything.

Scars on my heart have left me with this debilitating fear. Fear of love, of vulnerability, of being seen, of being honest, of sharing with others, of giving my heart away, of doing the uncomfortable things, of being different. But I’ve been sensing a change for the past few months. This desire or longing – to be intentional, to be kind, for depth and love, to feel alive.

So I’m deciding to embrace the change and to not push it away this time. I want to see God move in my life, and the lives of my loved ones. And although there are so many words that I could choose, because there are so many words that I need in my life right now…I am going to choose love.

Not a romantic love, or a friendly love, but God’s unconditional love. A love for people, but also God’s love for me. I need to fall back in love, with God and with His people. My scarred heart needs to know that it’s still capable of love and that the risk is and always will be worth it. As much as it scares the life out of me, I believe it’s what is needed. To know that depth again, that intimacy with my Maker, and that connection with Christ’s bride.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God send his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love on another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” 1 John 4:7-11

So I encourage you, wherever you are at spiritually, physically, emotionally…do what you’re afraid to do. Be brave, and learn from your mistakes. Don’t discredit your hurts and the lessons in your life, but embrace them and allow them to have their healing work and strengthening of person in you. Trust God, don’t ignore Him. No one will ever love you the way that He does. He is worthy of any and every effort on my our end and will always meet us with abounding grace.

Worship Encounters

This is my new series idea. Mixed in with these, will probably be random things I am learning. I just really enjoy writing. It’s a great way for me to process, learn and express myself. So I am dedicating one day a month to just writing.

I love worship. It has always been one of the most intimate ways that I can connect with God. I’ve learned a lot through practicing it, and watching others. I also have had the privilege to help be a part of teaching students about the heart of worship, and what worship leading is like because it’s more than just being on as stage. Through that, I have looked and found many worship stories/encounters in the Bible that I have fallen in love with. There are some ones you would expect and unconventional ones, but the Bible is full of them. It’s God’s story, so pretty much any encounter with God can be a worship experience. Which I love.

So in the future, I will write about different encounters I’ve read and things that I personally have learned and gleaned from the encounters/scripture and hopefully you can take something away from it too.

So you can expect the first one by the end of this month.
Thanks for sticking with me!


Hey, I’m 30!

I had a milestone birthday a few weeks ago, the big 3-0. A brand new decade.
I was pretty excited about it. Excited to see what this new decade will bring me…

I’ve already started to freak out a bit about being in a new decade, because if I am being honest, where I am at now – is not where I expected I would be when turning 30. And when I look around me at other 30 yr olds, I’m not anywhere near where they are. But that’s called comparison, and that is something I am tempted to do, but always reminded that that’s not fair to do because I have a different path than other’s. Plus, when I really sit and think through what I’ve done thus far, and the people I have met, and the work I have done and am doing – I feel pretty blessed and privileged.
The 20’s helped to shape me, and the 30’s will only shape me even more. There have been lessons I needed to help mold me into who God has designed me, and there’s only more to come. I’m only a few weeks into 30, and I’ve already been hit with a bombshell of something that I need to work through…but I think I’m ready.

So, what did my 20’s teach me?
To have fun. That I’ll never reach the top (in a good way, staying humble basically and that there is always room to grow). That I don’t even want to be at the top. That I am always well taken care of and loved very well. That I cannot live alone. Dreams do come true, but aren’t always dreamy. That I’m clumsy. Technology hates me. I will survive. Sometimes I don’t have a choice and that is okay. God is ALWAYS good. That I am a hard and loyal worker. I love deeply. I need to be better at time management. I’ll never stop growing, but I also have to be intentionally about growing. You should ask for help. I have limitations and it’s okay. Kid’s are a delight to me and can always lift my mood. People believe in me, so I need to believe in myself. I was born to disciple and to worship.

I have high hopes for my 30’s. So here is what I’m hoping for:
That my 30’s will be good to me genetically. That I can get healthier, that I get more sturdy (even though I spilled water all over myself today), that I can live more intentionally, to not take myself so seriously, to be more happy, to let people in, overcome some fears, and to laugh so much more. Also really hoping to become a mom (via adoption). To choose joy more often. To not be so selfish.

I know that these list’s could be ridiculously long, but for your sake and because I like to keep many things to myself – I will spare you! Really, I just want to be obedient to Christ and to be helpful to those I love. I have so much more room to grow, and so many things to learn – so thanks to all of you who have been with me this far no matter at what point you came in. I’m looking forward to the future.

Enjoy some of these funny photos from my birthday part(ies). My friends are crazy, and thats why I love them. I like to think that I stir that crazy pot for them :).


So, unfortunately I didn’t divy the places up enough like I thought I did, and I don’t have a 30:30 place. If i would have done cities rather than states (or I did a mix of both and combined some places), then I could have…but alas I can’t go back and re-do it!

So, for this final post, I thought I would make a list of the places I have NOT been to, and to where I would like to go before I die. 🙂

If you have suggestions as to places, please feel free to leave those in the comments!

With-in the U.S. (because I’ve come to realize, that our country is huge, and there is a lot to see so I should appreciate that!)
California (more specifically the Red Woods & Yosemite and San Fran, and wine country)
Savannah, Georgia. My mom has always wanted to go here, so therefore I do to.
Waco & San Antonio Texas, trying to talk the family into a vacation here next fall/winter. Mom loves Chip & Joanna Gaines, so hey! might as well!
Seattle, Washington
Colorado (hopefully going next year…I have a friend in Grand Junction, so its helpful when you know people!)
New Mexico (i just drove through it, so I would love to just explore the state, and also see the hot air balloon festival)
Grand Canyon (duh)
Hawaii (any of the other Islands, since Ive been to Oahu)
In the World
South Africa
But pretty much I will go anywhere because I love culture and travel.
So if you know of anyways to travel cheap, any tricks for a single person who doesn’t spend a lot of money and doesn’t have a lot of money, send them my way! 🙂

thanks for following along!

29:30 O-H-I-O

Growing up, I couldn’t wait to explore the world and see what else was out there outside of Ohio. I never truly appreciated what my home state offered until I moved away and then ended up moving back.

It’s home. It’s where my family is. It’s where my community is. There will always be a draw to go elsewhere, but there will always be a draw to come right back. I truly believe that people are what make a place. I could go to the most beautiful place in the world, but if I don’t get to experience it with anyone, especially anyone that I love, it won’t have the same affect on my soul as it would if I got to share the place/experience. So, Ohio, for me, is about the people and the memories.

Fall is a pretty spectacular time to live in Ohio, with the leaves. It’s been voted I believe top 10 by national geographic before for places to go to see the leaves change. I live right in the middle of Amish Country, which attracts done of tourists each year. We locals hate tourist season because seeing Horse & Buggies, Amish on bicycles, Tractors on the main roads, the farmers making hay… is apparently not a normal every day occurrence.

I remember one time, a local-isa city guy coming to our church and I was driving him home I believe, and he just couldn’t get over the rolling hills. He kept telling me “do you realize how beautiful this is, all I see is roller coasters!” (He lived near Cedar Point!)
I’ve definitely taken it for granted. The scenery, the chiller lifestyle. I have definitely made myself sick on some of our winding roads…oops!

I have also gone to the Farm @ Walnut Creek a handful of times. Whenever new people would come into town, that would always be one of my favorite places to take them. It still is! Who doesn’t love a wagon ride, or taking your car through to have llama’s come running at you! I definitely have broken down there before too…that’s a fun story! 🙂

So, there will be lots of photos, mostly of the people I love and memories I have. There are too many to encapsulate all of my feelings for Ohio. I never know I could love this place, but I am glad God moved me back and has gotten me to a place of appreciation for Ohio.

Some of my favorite things:

Cleveland has a great ice cream parlor – Sweet Moses! Also, I grew up going to the Playhouse Square, and most recently found an amazing Mexican place with like theee best quesadillas, Puenta Viejo (i could at quesadillas every day).
Columbus has great shopping!
Akron has great character and a good Art Museum (as does Cleveland! It’s awesome!)
Cuyahoga Valley National Park/Forest is fun to walk through!
Drive-In Movies @ Lynne Drive-In in Strasburg
Coshocton Water Park
Roscoe Village in Coshocton
The rails to trails that runs through Millersburg.
Cleveland Indian’s Games!
Playhouse Square
Blossom Music Center

So, whether your from Ohio or not, enjoy it! 🙂 I’ve learned to!
It’s not a post about Ohio, unless I post about Ohio State or theCav’s, so I’ve been a Cav’s game before which was a blast! But not a football game, my school didn’t have football, so I never really got into it. Also, do I need to mention the Browns?! 🙂




28:30 North Carolina

I love the Carolina’s, for years North was my favorite state (until I went to Kentucky and Tennessee and Hawaii!) 🙂 It’s hard to pick a favorite!

I have family that live in Raleigh, and for a short time my brother lived in Charlotte. I love both of those cities. I also have stopped through in Boone and Ashville which are awesome mountain towns! Asheville is a fun spot to walk around the city and explore and its very artsy. My friend Abby and I spent a night there at a hotel and went wine tasting (as we do) and explored! I love the mountains, they give such spectacular views! (I’m not an adventurous person, deep down I want to be, it just takes a bit to pull it out of me)

I always remember really enjoying Raleigh and Charlotte. Because I don’t live near any big cities, I always am able to enjoy the cities and what they bring when I am visiting them. My brother sed to work for the Charlotte Bobcats so I remember touring the arena and his little office area and just walking downtown. Raleigh I’ve explored mostly just the residential part. But I’ve always love the weather, because it’s pretty mild from what I remember!

I feel like each state has things to offer, so if your passing through NC take advantage of the Smoky’s and the Blue Ridge Parkway. There’s some great pull over spots with spectacular views down 77 and check out the small towns, there’s lots of character!


*no photos I could find, my apologies!

27:30 Myrtle Beach

IMG_4484IMG_4485IMG_4486IMG_4487IMG_4488IMG_4489Good ‘ol Myrtle Beach!
Between FL and Myrtle Beach, those are pretty much the beaches that I have been to the most. My grandparents lived in both places, but the one we visited them at the most was Myrtle Beach. They lived about 5 minutes from the beach, and had a communal pool (i know it sounds scary, but it actually wasn’t!) in the area’s where they lived.

Myrtle Beach is not that bad of a drive from Ohio, maybe like 10 hours max depending, but it was a nice trip for us! We would go in the summer time and I would take a friend, I also remember we went in the winter time one time also with the rest of the family. One time, I’m pretty sure this was that trip, in our vehicle we had my parents, my aunt and uncle, and my other aunt. All of us ladies were in the backseat, only there wasn’t room for me, so me being the youngest on that side of the family, I literally laid on their laps and pretty much slept for however long we were in the car. My mom and aunt’s were miserable, and I was loving every second of it! 🙂

Myrtle Beach is great because there is so much to do, always. It’s been quite a few years since I have been there so I know it has only changed and probably gotten better I am sure, as most things do with age :). But, there are also lots of people, so if you prefer beaches with less people, this is not the beach for you. But if you don’t mind the people, and love activities, this is definitely the beach for you – especially if you have kids!

*As for photos, I couldn’t find a whole lot, and I know for a fact that only 2 of these are from myrtle beach, the others I am not sure, but they are photos of photos and I’m all about embarrassing photos so enjoy!

*My photos are not showing up to where I am able to upload them. My apologies, hopefully in the next couple of days, they will appear! 🙂



26:30 Indiana

For most of my life, my uncle and aunt have lived in the Ft.Wayne Indiana area.
My friend’s sister, lives in the Indianapolis area and whenever I’ve gone to Chicago, we’ve driven through Indiana!

To be honest, I’ve never done touristy things in IN, nor do I really know what touristy things there would be. But my memories are from there are good ones of just passing through. I’m always met with great hospitality and friendliness.

When I was younger, I would spend a weekend at my uncle’s, they always had dogs so that was fun! There’s not much to see in Indiana apart from flat land and wind mills. There is a great road stop in western IN when your getting closer to Chicago, I know there is a great travel plaza nearby (i forget the town) but we’ve stopped there numerous times and at a Chipotle nearby! 🙂 We have our travel priorities right!

Unfortunately, I have no photos of Indiana. I could just post a windmill and from what I have seen, that would be fair enough! 🙂 I do appreciate the flat land, in that it is different than what I am used to with the rolling hills of central/eastern Ohio, but if anyone has anything spectacular about Indiana, you just let me know where I need to see and someday I will make it a point to get there, while I’m passing through :).

25:30 Outer Banks

2 summer’s ago I had the opportunity to take about a week vacation to the Outer Banks in NC with a family I am very fond of. I have been to a few beaches, and this was the first time to the Outer Banks. I was very pleased!

I’m an introvert, so the beaches where there are many people tend to stress me out. This beach wasn’t very crowded, and it was great! I love just laying on the beach, which we did quite a bit of, but we also did quite a bit of activities, including a sand castle building contest which the boys won, they all went to a high ropes course which was fun to watch! (i have a fear of heights, so i stayed on solid ground), went to see a local lighthouse, went to an arcade one afternoon when it was rainy… There’s plenty to do in the Outer Banks area!

One morning I got up for the sunset and that morning was so special. I found a conch shell, and has some great time with God. It was exactly what I needed that summer.

We also went to Duck Donuts one morning…waited in line for like 40 minutes and it was SOOOO worth it! Donuts are the way to my heart, so to wait in line for donuts you ca customize and that are still warm and fresh is well worth it for me!

Towards the end of the week we also went to the sand dunes which was AWESOME to see the wild horses. We rented 2 Jeep’s and off we went driving onto the beach! It was so cool! This was probably one of my favorite parts of the vacation.

I would definitely go back to the Outer Banks again, especially for those donuts ;).