Sunday, November 15, 2009

The BIG Apple...

Been busy writing. Now that we're coming to the end of the 2nd week, I'm noticing that it's starting to get harder! I'm sure that's because I was so excited about the possibility of actually finally writing a book in week one. That excitement is starting to wear off, as I settle in and actually write one. It's both hard and rewarding at the same time. I know that this is just the first draft, but I think part of me thinks it should be Shakespeare the first time without editing...but of course it's not! I feel like a lot of what I'm writing is crap. But I'm hearing that's normal for the first draft. I'll go back and edit once I'm done with the challenge.

I got to go to New York last week with my sisters. It was Amazing! I got to see my first Broadway show. We went to see Wicked which was great (again!) Here are some photos...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Writing, Life, and Teenagers...

Greetings from Poppyland...

For the past few days I've been consumed with preparing for NaNoWriMo (see previous post).I've been trying to get a good handle on my book idea before I start writing.
Last night I went to a Nano kick-off event that was held locally. It was pretty cool to meet other people in my area who are taking up the challenge with me this November. They actually have write-ins at local coffee houses and bookstores planned. So I'm sure I'll be spending a lot of time away from home this month.

This past week I had my first small group meeting with a group of teenage girls I'll be helping to lead. It just reminded me how much I like working with young people. I remember what it was like to be 14 and full of questions about God and life. My goal is to just be as honest and transparent with them as I can. I became a Christian when I was 15, and one of the best things that happened to me was meeting a lady in my church named Pam Shaw. She was my Sunday School teacher, and she made it her business to help me grow in my relationship with God. She basically discipled me. She really helped me build a firm foundation of faith. She challenged me, and I know that I am the "Christian" I am today because of her. I'd love to pass that on to someone else. Plus I think after working in youth ministry for many years, I'm tired of a lot of the shallowness I see. I don't know if I'm expressing that well...I've just seen so many instances where we're not really being honest with teenagers about what following Christ means. So many youth ministries are full of games and pizza, and movie clips, and not much else. Where's the substance! I think it's like that because most adults think kids can't handle anything else. We do them a disservice when we have that attitude.

So I'm just praying that God would use me to impact my small group in a REAL way.

I'm off to stress some more about my novel!

(The picture is of my nieces Tahani and Richelle...they ROCK!)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009

NaNoWriMo starts on November 1st. For those of you who don't know what the heck I'm talking about, here's a brief explanation...
NaNoWriMo = National Novel Writing Month is held every year November 1st through the 30th. As a participant your goal is to write a 50,000 word novel within the 30 days. I think that equals 1667 words per day. I've been saying I was going to write a book for ages, and I've actually had a decent idea for a couple of years now. I think part of the problem is that the idea of writing a novel is kind of daunting. It seems so HUGE that whenever I try to do it, I usually don't get far. We'll see how it goes this year...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Imaginative Prayer

About a year ago I heard about this great podcast called Pray-As-You-Go. They're devotionals that you can download from iTunes or from their website. There's one for each weekday, and they're about 12-15 minutes long. I've been using them on and off during my quiet times for about a year. Lately, I've been using them a lot more frequently. I'll either listen to it on my way to work, or I'll take a walk and listen to it during my morning break. Usually there's a scripture reading, and then a few questions and or thoughts to meditate on. It's a great devotional tool. I mention it because today's was especially awesome. I've been learning a lot about spiritual formation and a lot of the disciplines that go along with it. One of the practices that has really impacted me is Imaginative prayer. It's a practice that was started by Ignatius of Loyola.
Here's how Mike King describes the practice in his book "Presence-Centered Youth Ministry:

"When I practice imaginative prayer, I often select a scripture passage that I want to spend time meditating on and praying through. I imagine what it must have been like to live in the situation described in the passage. I interact with the text of scripture, contemplating it, asking question like these:

What do I see?
What do I smell
What do I hear?
Who do I see myself as in the passage?
How am I reacting to the events?
What is the Lord saying to me?

I read the text several times as I ask these questions, being patient and taking time to listen."

It was cool because today's podcast utilized this practice...And today, God used it to remind me of some things that he'd spoken to me earlier this year. It was a great way to start my day!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I went to California last weekend, and I got to see some of the people that I miss sooooooo very much. It was a great trip. It also reminded me just how much my life has changed in the last year. The cool thing is that through all of the uncertainty God has continued to remind me over and over again that he is with me. How cool is that?! I love it when God takes the time to re-assure me that he loves me, and that he's with me. It just blows my mind!

Monday, September 14, 2009


That's what you do
That's who you are
Why is it that some are blind to you?
To your beautiful light
Preferring instead the darkness
The hiding
Truly the light exposes all
Everyone can see
The light is Truth
It cannot lie
It forces us to face our
The things we'd rather keep our eyes closed to
It is hard
in the light is where you are
It is who you are
And that is where I want to be

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wanted to update everyone on what's been going on in poppyland...

I posted a few weeks ago about my family going to church, and I'm super happy to say that they're still going. Both of my sisters have joined a small group, and the three of us are taking the members class together. My sister Lovey actually got baptized last week! My nieces are getting involved in the youth group, and I am just sitting back and watching God move in their lives. To say it's been awesome is a bit of an understatement!

Right now I'm still working at my temp job. I really like it, and I've got my fingers crossed that it's going to become permanent. Until then I'm living with one of my sisters. When I finally get a permanent job, I'm planning on FINALLY getting a place of my own...I think...I say that because part of me is kind of glad that I haven't signed a lease or anything like that yet. I just feel like I'm taking it day to day. Like I'm just waiting for God to tell me to sell all my stuff and go off on an adventure. That's one of the cool things about being single. I can just pick up and go at any time!

My times with God for the past couple of months, have been pretty amazing. I feel like he's just been pouring into my life. I really believe that God is always trying to reveal himself to us. That if we take the time to stop and listen, he's waiting to speak. As I've done that in my own life, I've just been overwhelmed with the things that God is speaking to me.

So to sum it all up, I still don't know WHERE I'm going...but I'm at a point where I'm okay with that!
Until next time...

Friday, August 7, 2009


So I've been working! FINALLY! I started off doing a 2 week temp job for Wells Fargo. The people were really nice, but it was just temporary. I'm now on a temporary job that I hope will turn permanent. That would be nice! I feel like I still haven't really found my place here in Vegas. I'm making an effort to really get myself involved in church. But I'll be honest and say that I'm still feeling a little lost. If somebody came up to me tomorrow and said "Tell me what your dreams are, I'm going to give you everything you need to accomplish them." I think I'd have to really sit and think about what my response would be. I just don't know anymore. Beyond wanting to please God with my life, I'm at a loss...The good thing is that instead of sulking, or worrying about my lack of direction, I've decided to just focus on God. That's the one thing that I KNOW that I want to do with my life. So I'm just going to do that. I figure everything else will just fall into place eventually...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I want to start this post off by sharing a little bit of my background. I grew up in a family that didn't really go to church. Before I was 15 I can only remember going a handful of times, and most of those were for weddings. When I was 15 we moved next door to, and became friends with this great family who attended church. To make a long story short, I started going, and God changed my life. Since then, I've really been praying that everyone else in my family would get the chance to really meet God like I did. To give you some perspective, I just had a birthday and I turned 39. So
we're talking 24 years!

A couple of Sundays ago one of my sisters called me out of the blue and asked if she could go to church with me. I of course told her yes and we were on our way. I've been going to a church called Central here in Las Vegas, and it's been growing on me. I'm having some serious Rock Harbor withdrawals! Rock Harbor was the church I was attending in Orange County. I LOVED it! But God is the same no matter where I go to church, so I've been sucking it up...But anyway, back to my sister...Of course on the Sunday that she asks to go with me there is weirdness on the way to church. Some radical pro-life group decided to protest in front of the church. As we get closer we begin to see people holding up these large banners with picture of aborted babies on them. Very graphic. I can't imagine what I'd have been feeling if I were a parent bringing my kid to church that day. As adults my sister and I were both shocked. She of course begins to ask me who the people are, and if they are connected with the church. I know they're not, so I'm trying to re-assure as we head in the door. By this time I'm worried that the ugliness of our experience getting to church will hinder her from getting anything from the service. But God sister had a life changing experience, and it was pretty cool. God spoke to her in a specific way that really affected her. The whole situation just reminded me how GREAT God is. He took a situation that seemed kind of impossible, and he still made it work.

My sister was so excited that she signed her kids up for children's church. Her excitement also motivated my other sister to come with us last Sunday. So imagine the smile on my face as I'm sitting in church last Sunday with both of my sisters, my mother, and one of my brother in-laws (who grew up Jehovah's Witness)...pretty darn cool!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Food, Inc

FINALLY went to see Food Inc. last week. It was a real eye opener. It made me both sad and angry, and I think it's a movie that everyone needs to see. Here's one of the statistics from the movie that scared me:

1 out of 3 children born after the year 2000 will at some point in their lives develop type 2 diabetes. For minorities that number jumps to 1 out of 2.

That is just unacceptable! We really need to take a look at the foods we eat, what's in them, and where they come from. It made me take a look at my own family, and the way I was raised to eat. I'm sitting in my sister's kitchen typing this blog and as I look around at the food she has, I'm realizing that probably 90% of it is processed. Most of it contains chemicals that our bodies were not meant to process.

Seeing the movie makes me want to pay more attention to the foods that I put in my mouth.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Today was filled with the Michael Jackson memorial. The one thought that's been running through my mind all day is - why do we wait until people are dead to celebrate them? Let's be honest...a week before he died MJ was being ridiculed by the media, but now everyone wants to honor him as the true "King of Pop". Today has challenged me to celebrate the people in my life. Someone you know and love has a birthday coming up...What if on that day, you took the time to sit them down, and tell them what they mean to you? I'll bet that would be a lot more memorable to them then any gift you could buy them. Just a thought...

On the job front, I'm still not having any luck. I'm not really loving Vegas at all, and I'll admit that I'm a little confused as to what my next step should be. Whatever that is, I'll need money to do it, so I'm really just trusting that God is going to provide. Have I mentioned that I suck at trusting and waiting?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I Cut My Hair!

I cut my hair! Here's a semi blurry picture of my new doo...

Now that all my traveling is done (for now!) I've finally thrown my hat into the Las Vegas job market. Hopefully I'll have some good news to share soon. I really want to get my own place, plus I'm tired of being poor!

That's it for now...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Movie Reviews

Just a quick review of a few movies I've seen lately. I went to see the new Star Trek movie, and was pleasantly surprised. Though I am a lover of sci-fi, I've never been much of a Star Trek person. I just never got into any of the TV shows, and before this one, I'd never seen any of the movies. I saw the preview a couple of months ago, and I was sold! I went with my sister and her husband Bob who is a certified trekkie. I thought the movie was great. It was funny, and there was lots of action. I was pleasantly surprised by Zachary Quinto as Spock. For all you fellow Heroes fans out there, you know Zachary as Sylar. It was cool to see him not be the bad guy. Plus Leonard Nimoy was also in the movie. I thought it was great that J.J. Abrams (the director) chose to pay homage to the original crew. Seeing this movie and enjoying it like I did, actually made me want to give Star Trek another chance. So I may be searching for some Star Trek on DVD in the near future!

I've been wanting to see Valkyrie for a while now. I saw a great Documentary about the Valkyrie plot on The History Channel that fueled my desire even more. On my flight to Spain a couple of weeks ago it was one of the movie choices so I finally got to see it. For those who don't know the movie is about the Valkyrie plot which was a plot to assassinate Adolph Hitler. I'm such a history buff, and I thought they did a great job building the suspense, and sticking really closely to the story. Plus the movie has a stellar cast - Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, and Bill Nighy just to name a few. It reminded me of another historical type movie that I really liked which was Thirteen Days with Kevin Costner. It's about the Cuban missile crisis. Great movie!

On a completely different front, I'm still looking for a job, and hopefully will have a few interviews this week. I'm headed back to California at the beginning of June for a wedding which should be fun. My goal is to get to work, and get my own place within the next couple of months. I've had a blast living with my mom, but it's time to move onward and upward!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I Left my Heart...

I've been up in Northern California visiting my good friends Larry and Rhonda for the past week. They're always so much fun. They live near San Francisco, so we actually got to go and spend a day in the city. Here's some of what I saw...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Book Reviews

Okay kids it’s time for some BOOK REVIEWS! I know you’re all excited! Here are my thoughts on two of my most recent reads…

I borrowed Act Like a Lady Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey from my sister. I wanted to see what all the hype was about. This book has been on top of the non-fiction bestsellers list for weeks and weeks. Plus he was on Oprah. That’s like instant book credibility! Well after reading his book, I must say that I was disappointed. Basically the whole point of the book is Steve Harvey letting us ladies in on the secret of what men are really like. What they’re thinking, and what motivates them etc…Overall, I just felt like it was one big excuse for some men to act like jerks. Grow up! I think the number one reason women date crappy men is because they don’t value themselves. So I’ll give him a little credit because I think that’s some of what he’s trying to say. Some of the stories he shares are pretty funny, but overall this one did NOT live up to the hype for me.

I got the book Columbine by Dave Cullen after reading a dozen or so reviews on I finished it in less than 24 hours. I literally couldn't put this one down. The book sheds light on a lot of the false information that got out about the killings during the initial media firestorm. I’m sure we all remember watching the news that day and hearing all about the trench coat mafia, or that the killers were targeting jocks. There was lots of information that was later proven false. I think the big reason why people are still fascinated by Columbine is that they’re still looking for answers. What makes a person do something like this? It’s of course a question that we may never know the answer to. I thought the book was really well written, and that he did a good job looking at the whole picture. He didn’t just focus on the killers; there was a lot of follow up with people who will be dealing with the aftermath of Columbine for the rest of their lives. I definitely recommend this one.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Hello all! I have returned home from my European adventure. It was to say at the very least - life changing...

Now that I’m at least a little rested here is my official trip report. I’ll apologize in advance because it’s a little long. There are lots of details for those of you who like that (Jenny!). And also loads of pictures... Enjoy!
So before I went to Spain, I flew to California a few days early so that I could go to the Worship Central conference that was being held at my old church Rock Harbor. The conference was fantastic! It was even better than last years. The worship was great, and exactly what I needed. There were several seminars and one that sticks out was taught by a seminary professor named J.D. Walt. It was about the theology of doxology…it was very deep! Here are a few quotes from the class:

“Worship is where we construct a context for revelation from the Holy Spirit.”

“The only way to measure the impact of worship is to watch what happens after. How does it affect people’s lives?”

I got a few new CD’s and a new book. If you’ve never heard of Brenton Brown, I suggest you go out and get his new worship CD. It’s called Because of Your Love. There’s a song on it called “Adoration” that is quickly becoming a favorite. I also heard Francis Chan speak for the first time, and he was very thought provoking. I love it when a speaker makes me reflect, and then apply what they’ve said to my own life. Overall the conference was just what I needed before my trip. While in California I stayed with my friends Amber and Kevin (and Brody!) Their couch was fit for a queen, and much appreciated. I also want to say thanks to Renee for being my conference buddy. It’s amazing how God knows exactly what we need.

The conference was Friday and Saturday and on Sunday morning the WONDERFUL Ms. Linda Chang took me to the airport at 5:00 am! What a trooper! From Los Angeles, I flew to Charlotte, then to Frankfurt Germany, and finally to Barcelona. In Barcelona I met up with most of the team that was headed to Ibiza. Henrike and Sandra from Germany, and Charl, Carla, Jemma, and Tina who are all living in the U.K. doing a year out with 24/7 prayer. Tina is actually from the U.S. so I wasn’t the only American! We met and grabbed a bite to eat before catching our flight to Ibiza.

Once in Ibiza we met up with Tracy Heasley who picked us up from the airport. She dropped us at the hotel where we met our final team member Casey who was also from the UK.

The year round 24/7 Ibiza team consists of Brian and Tracey Heasley (and their two sons), and Bruce and Helen. They live in Ibiza year round. During the busy season, which lasts from May to October, they have others volunteers who come in to help them with the work they do. They also have 2 week long mission’s teams that come in during various weeks over the summer.

The next morning after breakfast we headed to the 24/7 Ibiza center in the West End. The cool thing is that they are actually right there in the middle of all the action.

As you can see from the picture the West End is a street that’s full of bars, and strip clubs. During the summer months this street is crowded with tourists. 24/7 Ibiza basically sends teams out into the streets to talk to, and help people. They may get to pray with a group of young people, or they may intervene to make sure that someone who’s had too much to drink get’s back to their hotel without being robbed or worse. The team I was on is the prayer team. We were there to pray for the upcoming season, and to help them get ready in practical ways. We did several prayer walks, and it was great to listen to Brian tell us all about the history of the island of Ibiza. We walked in pairs and just prayed for the coming season.

That afternoon we went to Es Vedra…

Isn’t it beautiful! First Brian shared more history about the island and then we split up and spent some time alone in reflection and prayer. Back in the day if pirates were trying to come into port there where lookouts that would light a warning beacon to let the people know that trouble was coming. When that happened the people would flee to the churches which were considered places of refuge. I thought that was so cool! I definitely spent some time praying that 24/7 Ibiza would be a refuge for the people that visit Ibiza.

That night we also got to experience an Ibiza sunset. It was breathtaking. During the busy season hundreds of people sit out on the rocks and watch the sunset each night…and then they applaud. It’s like they’re acknowledging the beauty of God’s creation without even knowing it! Here are a few pictures of the sunset…

The next two days we got the chance to spend some quality time on the farm where the team lives. It was beautiful. We got to pray and work and eat, and it was altogether wonderful!

One day we took a hike up to a prayer chapel that is near the house. There were notebooks full of the prayers of people that had made the trek up the trail. People had also posted pictures of loved ones, or written their names on the wall of the chapel.

On our last full day we did another prayer walk through the West End and helped the team actually clean the center which was getting ready for its opening day. The center is a place where they get to connect with a lot of the workers on the Island. They offer them free internet service, and they have a Wii and a pool table. It’s a place for workers to come and hang out and get a chance to chat with someone if they want.

We also got to take a siesta which was great! Any excuse for a nap is okay by me! That night we headed to Pacha. It’s one of the best nightclubs in the world. One of the things that the team does is they go into the clubs and they dance, worship and pray. It was amazing to see how even as we danced and prayed we had people asking us what we were doing. At one point we had a few guys come up to us and ask what we were doing in Ibiza. Imagine their surprise when we told them we had come to pray. It was an interesting conversation starter. Before we headed into the club we actually got to go eat at this wonderful restaurant that was in the hotel across the street. It was a real treat! Of course I took pictures of everything...

The next day was Saturday and it was time to head home. My flight didn’t leave until late so I got to spend the day exploring the city, and doing some last minute souvenir shopping. I read my bible by the water and basically had a really chill day.

Overall I feel like I’m barely scratching the surface of what my trip was really like.

One of my favorite scriptures is Jeremiah 29:13 -

“ When you come looking for me, you'll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed." (MSG)

It was so cool to see that in action. Every time we sought God he was there to be found. It was also so powerful to know and trust that my prayers were sowing the seed for what’s going to happen this summer in Ibiza. I was challenged to remember that power is present in my everyday life as well. The same God who spoke to me so powerfully in Ibiza is here with me now. I was so moved by what is happening in Spain that I’m going to try and go back to Ibiza to experience what the summer is like. There’s some space on a team in September, and I believe that if it’s God’s desire for me to go back he will provide the funds for me just like he did for this trip.

And speaking of that, I just want to say a HUGE thank you again and again to everyone who prayed and donated for my trip. I’m praying that God blesses you as much as you have blessed me!

I also challenge you to pray for 24/7 Ibiza. To learn more about what they do, go check out their website HERE Or go check out Brian’s blog HERE

Until next time…

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Prayer of Blessing

I read this on a blog that I follow, and was so moved by it that I snagged it to post on my own blog!

May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.
May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.
May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really CAN make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God's grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.
And the blessing of God the Supreme Majesty and our Creator, Jesus Christ the Incarnate Word who is our brother and Saviour, and the Holy Spirit, our Advocate and Guide, be with you and remain with you, this day and forevermore.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Back Home...

Ibiza was AWESOME! I'll be doing a more in depth post about my trip later. Right now there are three important things to know:

1. I am home.
2. Jet lag is in full affect.
3. My trip was amazing!

Here's a little taste of some of the beauty that I saw...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Countdown to SPAIN

I haven't mentioned it yet, but I'm going to Spain this week! I'm super excited. I'll be heading to the small island of Ibiza. While I'm there I'll get the chance to work with an awesome ministry called 24/7 Ibiza I can't wait! I'm also getting to go "home" to California for a few days before I go. There's a great worship conference at the church I use to go to. So basically I'm gonna have a super fantastic week!

I'm still trying to get used to Las Vegas. I really don't think I'll end up staying here very long. Right now my goal is to get a job and save enough money to move back to California. The one good thing about being here is my family...Here are some pics I've taken since being here...