Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Hello beautiful people.

I haven’t written to update you on what’s up in my life in a while. So here we go.

Peter and I are no longer living in an apartment in Kalamazoo! We’re saving up money and in the process of getting a loan (which is taking way longer than expected because we’ve never been in debt, and we’ve intentionally never had a credit card) so we can buy our first home! We’re living with my amazing in-laws and it’s been such a blessing. They live in the country and it’s been so relaxing for me to have such easy access to trees and nature and all the green things I love so much. I’m also loving that they have chickens and a garden (who knew!?). I look forward to checking for eggs or tomatoes, green beans, or cucumbers--or so many other yummy veggies. God’s creations are pretty incredible. =)

I really am amazed at how full our summers are. I always expect them to be so much less than the WA seasons--we aren’t having WorshipArts four days a week for goodness sakes!--but it really doesn’t slow down that much. We kicked off the summer with a trip Ishpeming, MI to play on a worship team for a conference, and it hasn’t slowed down too much since then.

We’ve gone to open houses,
went to a lake with my family,
helped out with a few New Day Vandalia Campus services,
celebrated three years of marriage,
packed up our whole apartment and moved most of our stuff into storage,
hosted a fantastic WorshipArts camp,
explored Chicago for the fourth,
saw more fireworks on a lake with lots of friends,
drove up north for my uncle’s wedding,
attended my childhood best friend’s wedding,
vacationed in the UP for Cedar Campus,
played at one of the new Kalamazoo House of Prayer’s soft-start services,
traveled to Ohio for Peter’s family reunion,
and led worship at a racetrack church service.

One really great thing about all the driving we’re doing this summer: we’ve gotten back into listening to audiobooks together. Peter and I revisited a few books from the Ender series by Orson Scott Card, and right now we’re listening to a new one that was released just a few years ago. Peter’s been listening to the Screwtape letters, and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, and just this morning he shared some of the preface of Mere Christianity with me (Uhm. So stinkin’ amazing.).

What’s next? We’ve got the WorshipArts Festival this Saturday, and next Saturday the WorshipArts season begins! (And my brothers-in-law are scheming with me for a last hurrah trip to Michigan’s adventure. So hoping that happens!)

My only real summer “regret” is that I haven’t made it out to South Haven yet. I hope I can squeeze that in before the summer is gone. But honestly, I’ve gotten lots of fun memories and been able to do so many great things--it’s been different than summers past, but it’s been pretty lovely in it’s own way.

I hope these last few weeks of August are super blessed for you, and you can have some nice summery moments to treasure forever--take the time to look for them; it’s worth it.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Bethel Lovely Women's Conference 2013: Worship

I am overwhelmed with thankfulness and gratitude--I live in an age where the Holy Spirit is moving in mighty ways through live worship. It is becoming more creative and free, as it also becomes an even more intimate way to connect with and love on Jesus. And wonder of wonders, it is also more accessible than it’s ever been before.  

I found out a few days ago that Bethel Church in Redding California is having the Lovely Women’s Conference this weekend. I couldn't get it out of my mind--I don’t know exactly why but something in me was hungering for it. Amazingly, I found out I could purchase streaming of the whole conference for $30, so I purchased that and I have just begun watching tonight.

Wow. The worship is so anointed. So full of love for Jesus, and He is so responding with His never-ending love!

And guess what!? They are recording this live worship and it will be coming out as an album with Bethel Music! I have been so blessed listening to this worship this evening, and I’ve only heard this one session so far!

They have an amazing line up of women who love Christ passionately leading worship: Jenn Johnson, Steffany Frizzell-Gretzinger, Kari Jobe, Leah Valenzuela, Kristene DiMarco, and Amanda Cook.

Lately Peter and I have really been blessed by exploring Steffany Frizzell-Gretzinger as a worship leader. Her songs have really been stretching me--both vocally, challenging me to strengthen my voice and try new things as I worship Christ, and lyrically, drawing me closer to Jesus. I’ve also been very captivated by her spontaneous songs of worship that come forth as she leads.

At one point tonight, she broke out into a beautiful rendition of Romans 8:28 in one of her songs, “I know that You are working all things together for my good, cause You make all things new, You make all things new.”

I was also intrigued and drawn in by Steffany leading a song with the following lyrics:

"So I will lock eyes
With the One who’s ransomed me
The One who gave me joy for mourning

So I will lock eyes
With the One who’s chosen me
The One who set my feet to dancing

And we dance
And we dance"

It had beautiful, almost haunting melody at some points and truly felt like an intimate slow dance with Jesus, the lover of my soul.

I noticed two themes in the worship tonight too--Love and intimacy leading to surrender, and also the illustration of waves and the ocean. Another woman, I believe Amanda Cook, led a song with these amazing lyrics:

“So I will let You draw me out
Beyond the shore into your grace.
As Your love in wave after wave
Crashes over me, crashes over me.

You are for us,
You are not against us.
Champion of Heaven
You made a way for all to enter in!

You make me brave,
You make me brave,
You call me out beyond
The shore into the waves.

You make me brave,
You make me brave,
No fear can hinder now
The promises You’ve made.

We say no to fear
We say yes to love
We will go with You
Where You’re leading us.”

What an incredible picture of what it can be like, especially as a woman, but as any Christian. We don’t muster up our own braveness--when we choose to say no to fear and let His love in, He makes us brave--brave enough to go deeper, to follow where He is leading us. Brave enough to believe the promises He’s given us.
Needless to say, I can’t wait to experience the rest of this conference, and nourish this hunger God’s given me for it. And I can’t wait for the Lovely album.
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